ROCHESTER, Minn. – Some good news for parents: According to Huntington Bank’s annual Backpack Index, the costs of school supplies are going down.
But even with lowered prices, school supplies for multiple classes add up.
“All those things really add up quickly, especially if there are a lot of projects you have to do,” Rebekah Gish, a mom of two in Rochester, said.
The bank projects families will spend about $636 for elementary school supplies, $941 for middle school, and $1,350 for high school supplies.
It’s expensive and the state of Minnesota is trying to help. Families can get two tax benefits from back to school shopping.
“That would not be something that occurred to me to think about when I'm doing my taxes each year, my kiddos school supplies... and I'm sure people with 3, 4, 5 kids, school supplies add up so writing that off is supper beneficial,” Eeeln Buckarma, a mom of two in Rochester, said.
The first tax benefit is the K-12 Education Credit. It is income based and dependent on the amount of kids a family has.
Families with 1 or 2 kids in K-12 must make less than $37,500 a year to qualify. The threshold jumps to $39,500 for families with 3 kids and adds $2,000 for each child over that.
By saving receipts for textbooks, pens, notebooks, and educational software, the costs can be written off on taxes.
The second tax benefit is the K-12 Education Subtraction. There is no income requirement and will cover different kinds of costs like high schoolers taking college courses over summer, and private school tuition.
Last year, over 37,500 families saved an average of $241 through the K-12 Education Credit. Over 186,000 families saved using the K-12 Education Subtraction.