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Illinois Education Tax Credit for K-thru-12

Illinois residents can receive a tax credit of up to $500 for expenses relating to kindergarten through 12th grade. The state income tax credit equals 25% of expenses in excess of $250 for tuition, books, and lab fees for a child or dependent. The student must be younger than 21 at the end of the school year and may attend either public or private school in Illinois.

Claim Illinois education tax credits for 2013 using Schedule ICR from the Illinois Department of Revenue.

Some education expenses that qualify for this credit include:

  • Tuition (including summer school classes meeting elementary or secondary graduation requirements)

  • Book fees covering the rental for books that were required as a part of the school’s education program

  • Lab fees covering the use of supplies, equipment, materials, or instruments that were required as part of a lab course in the school’s education program. For example, if you rented a musical instrument from the school (not from a business) for a class, or for participation in an extracurricular activity that resulted in a credit toward completion of the school’s education program, this rental expense qualifies for the tax credit.

Some education expenses that DO NOT qualify for this credit include:

  • Expenses paid to daycare, preschool, or kindergarten at a school that does not also have a first grade, college, university, independent tutoring service, or trade school

  • Expenses paid for the purchase of supplies, books, or equipment that is not significantly used up during the school year (e.g., purchasing musical instruments or costumes for a play)

  • Expenses paid for the use of supplies, equipment, materials, or instruments if the program does not result in a credit towards completion of the school’s education program

  • Expenses paid directly to a business (e.g., renting a musical instrument from a music store)

  • Expenses for after-school care, even if paid to the school

For more information about Illinois’ education tax credit, see Publication 132, “Education Expense Credit General Rules and Requirements for Parents and Guardians.” (PDF)


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