Education Credits and Deductions

Aug. 18, 2014 – TaxTalk Blog

It’s that time of year again – back to school! As students prepare their return to classrooms and universities across the state, keep in mind Indiana offers a few education related deductions and credits to maximize your money.

Education Expenses Deduction – You may qualify for a deduction based on education expenditures paid for each dependent child enrolled in a K-12 private school or those homeschooled. Expenditures include tuition, fees, textbooks and even school supplies. If eligible, the deduction is $1,000 per qualified dependent. Read Information Bulletin #107 for the details.

School Scholarship Tax Credit – When you contribute to a qualified scholarship granting organization, the money provides K-12 scholarships for Hoosier children. A contribution can net a 50 percent credit against your state tax liability. There are no limits on the size of a qualifying contribution, but the entire tax credit program has a limit of $7.5 million in credits per state fiscal year. This contribution may also qualify as an itemized deduction on your federal tax return. Visit the department of education’s school scholarship site for more information.

Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Investment Plan Tax Credit – When you contribute to a CollegeChoice 529 education savings plan, you get a 20-percent state credit (up to $1,000) for contributions made this year. You don’t have to be a family member to contribute. Visit the Indiana Education Savings Authority site and read their tax credit FAQ for details.

Tax Credit for College Donations – With this credit, you may get a state credit and a deduction on your federal tax return. Making a contribution to support your Indiana college of choice could net you up to a $100 (if filing singly) or $200 (if married filing jointly) credit when you file your state tax return. Contributions can include cash and other stuff – like a rare book, artwork or land. You’ll get a bigger bang for your buck if you itemize deductions on your federal tax return. Be sure to keep your receipt/letter from the institution. Read Information Bulletin #14 for state credit details and get more information about claiming itemized deductions from the IRS.

To qualify for these credits/deductions when filing your 2014 Indiana individual income tax return (in 2015) make your contributions and/or payments between now and Dec. 31. Or as college students say, before spring semester!

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