Are Private School Expenses Tax Deductible?

Private school tuition can be a bit costly, which means that many parents seek out different ways to help them save a bit of money on their children’s primary and secondary school education.

Unfortunately, writing tuition fees off on your taxes is not one of them since the federal government does not allow you to deduct primary or secondary school expenses on your tax returns.

However, there are a number of other ways that you can potentially save some money on your children’s private school education when it comes to your taxes.

Virginia State Tax Breaks

You may be able to receive tax breaks for certain educational expenses outside of your child’s private school tuition. For example, some states will provide tax breaks for expenses that include textbooks and supplies. The state of Virginia holds tax-free shopping days every August. During these days, you won’t have to pay taxes on the purchase of school supplies, clothing or shoes.

Charitable Contributions to a Private School

Any charitable contributions that you make can be deducted from your tax return. This means that if you make a charitable contribution to the private school that your child attends in addition to the tuition you pay, then you might be able to write off the amount that you donated.

Just keep in mind that you can’t write off anything for which you’re given something in return. For example, if the school holds a charitable dance and tickets are $10, then you can’t write $10 off since you are paying for entry. However, if you pay $100 for said ticket, you will probably be able to write off $90, since this amount was provided as a charitable donation.

The Coverdell Education Savings Account

The Coverdell Education Savings Account is an account in which you can contribute part of your income. The advantage of making contributions to this account is that it will come out of your paycheck before it is taxed, and it will sit in the account tax-free.

You can contribute up to $2,000 a year as long as you are making a modified adjusted gross income of less than $110,000. You can then use this money towards your child’s high school or elementary school education expenses, which include private school tuition.

You can’t deduct these contributions, but you could end up saving thousands of dollars in tax savings over the course of your child’s primary and secondary school education.

The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit

If your child attends any sort of before or after-school program so that you can either look for work or go to work, then you may qualify for the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. The amount of the tax credit varies, but it’s for no more than $3,000 of total work-related childcare expenses per child.

You can claim a percentage of the costs of summer camp as a tax credit as well if you’re working or looking for work during this time. However, to qualify, your child must be younger than 13 and you’ll need to have the cost of the care program separated from the tuition.

Other Ways to Save Money on Private School

There may not be as many tax credits available for primary and secondary school education as there are for postsecondary education, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways to save money. For example, there are many scholarship opportunities for students looking to attend a private school.

Keep in mind that scholarships aren’t just given to children in need – many of these scholarships can be applied to by anyone. In addition to any scholarships offered within the state, there are also many nationwide scholarships worth looking into.

Some of the nationwide scholarships available include the Commonwealth Foundation, A Better Chance, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and the Children’s Scholarship Fund. And if you’re planning on enrolling your child into a religious school, you may even be able to secure a small scholarship from your church.

Although you cannot write your child’s private school tuition off on your tax return, there are a number of potential tax credits and deductions related to sending your child to a private school that could save you some money.

For information about our private school, be sure to contact us at Brook Road Academy today.