Sending your children off to school, in and of itself, is not exactly a costly endeavor if they attend public school. However, there are lots of little expenses that add up in order to prepare for the school year and have all the right supplies in a student’s backpack for success.
Before you take your kids shopping, consider these back-to-school tax tips that are guaranteed to help you save a little money – and save on your taxes when the IRS filing season comes along.
Take advantage of sales tax holidays on school supplies.
If your state offers a sales tax holiday on school supplies, take full advantage of it. These “holidays” are often enacted in August when parents are getting their kids ready to board the school bus. A sales tax holiday means you don’t have to pay sales tax on certain items. When it comes to back-to-school shopping, items that may be exempt from a state sales tax during such a holiday include:
- School supplies
Claim education-related tax credits for which you’re eligible.
Various tax credits related to school can help you save big bucks. The Child and Dependent Care Credit may help you save money on daycare and after-school care for your children during the school year. The American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit are also very beneficial when it comes to saving money on tuition and other educational expenses for those pursuing college-level degrees.
Claim student loan interest as a tax deduction.
If your child attends a college, university, or any other institution of higher education, student loan interest is generally tax deductible in the eyes of the IRS.
Remember that you can only write off the interest on loans taken out to pay for education – not the loans themselves. This tax benefit is considered an above-the-line deduction, meaning you do not need to itemize your deductions in order to claim the write-off on your return.
Reuse any supplies from last year.
While kids often want new things all the time, it’s just not financially sound to keep buying items if your kids simply don’t need them. Have them reuse backpacks from last year. If they still have pens, pencils, markers, rulers, or calculators from their previous grade, why not reuse them if they’re in good condition? There is no reason to spend money if you don’t have to.
Consider shopping online.
If you’re looking to purchase larger items like backpacks, computers, or tablets, consider hitting the web for your shopping. At the very least, explore sites like Amazon, eBay, or even the websites of your favorite stores. You could easily score some big deals, and you may be exempt from paying sales tax or shipping on certain items.
For more back-to-school tax tips to help you save money on school supplies via IRS tax deductions and tax credits, turn to the accounting professionals at 1-800Accountant. Call 1-800-222-6868 or visit www.1-800Accountant.
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