Do Iowa Homeschool Families Get Any Tax Deductions?

Tax season is here again, and I bet you’re probably wondering if there are any tax deductions for Iowa homeschoolers.

Are you able to write off any homeschool curriculum or supplies on your Iowa state taxes? What about federal?  

The Short Answer: No. 

The Long Answer: Unfortunately, there are no federal deductions for homeschoolers, and Iowa doesn’t offer any either. 

Under the Tuition and Textbook Credit (K-12 only), homeschoolers are specifically excluded. The Iowa Department of Revenue extended instructions state “Homeschooling: Expenses for textbooks or other items for home schooling, tutoring, or schooling outside an accredited school do not qualify for the credit.” 

If your child is dual enrolled for sports or other extra curricular activities, you can deduct for certain things, such as a suit for Mock Trial competitions, a band uniform, or soccer cleats. However, whatever you deduct must be exclusively used for an accredited Iowa school. It must not be used for anything else.

You may write off 25% of eligible purchases, up to $1,000, for each student. You can find a list of eligible and ineligible expenditures here.

Whether you can deduct items for the preschool years was a little bit more difficult to decipher, so I consulted a few CPAs on this matter. 

You will notice on the state form that there is an Early Childhood Development Tax Credit. Only taxpayers with a net income of less than $45,000 are eligible to take this credit OR the Child and Dependent Care Credit (can only claim one of these)

The Early Childhood Development Tax Credit is equal to 25% of the first $1,000 of qualifying expenses paid during the tax year for each dependent, age 3-5. This includes preschool tuition, books, educational supplies, and entrance fees to educational outings. 

However, your child must be enrolled in an accredited Iowa preschool in order to take this credit. The expenses must be paid to others

You can read more about the Early Childhood Development Credit here

I know a few homeschool moms that claimed this credit and were audited. They ended up having to pay back a portion to the IRS for claiming their passes to the zoo, science center, etc. They were told their receipts weren’t “good enough.” I strongly advise you to approach this credit with caution.  

To Sum It Up...

Despite conflicting advice you may hear, there are no tax deductions for homeschoolers in Iowa. If you do choose to claim and then get audited, you could get in trouble and owe the IRS a lot of money. 

If you have any further questions regarding your state or federal taxes, we highly recommend contacting a tax professional or a CPA. You can also contact the Iowa Department of Revenue or the IRS directly. 

Did You Find This Post Helpful?

Did this give you a clear answer on what you can write off for homeschooling on your Iowa state taxes? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to share this post with other Iowa homeschool families.