K-12 Tuition Tax Deduction

Overview

Thanks to advocacy by WCRIS, state law allows Wisconsin parents to deduct private school tuition on their taxes. Under the program, parents statewide can deduct up to $4,000 per student in grades K-8, and up to $10,000 per high school student.

The deduction saved private school parents and guardians $11.4 million in its second year, according to reports from the WI Department of Revenue, which were analyzed by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance for WCRIS.

The DOR figures also show that 38,640 Wisconsin taxpayers claimed the deduction in 2015 and reduced their taxable income by $180, 670, 740, according to WisTax.

A Win for WCRIS Schools

When parents collect the private school tuition tax deduction, they are also indirectly helping their schools.

Because of the tax deduction, schools are able to make necessary increases in tuition without parents feeling it on their overall income. However, this only works if parents are actually collecting the deduction.

Don’t Miss Out on Claiming This Deduction on Your Taxes

Spread the word to family and friends so they can take advantage of this financial benefit.  See the Resources on the right for an overview. This deduction has only been available since 2014, so some tax professionals may not be aware of it. You may want to share the Overview and Frequently Asked Questions documents with them.

WCRIS suggests principals send the Schedule PS home with your students, available for download when it becomes available each tax year. You can give parents a head start by filling in your school’s name in the first column, and school/church Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) in the third column.

Quick Facts:
  • Parents can deduct up to $4,000 per K-8th grade student and up to $10,000 per 9-12th grader, regardless of income.
  • The average Wisconsin family will see their taxes cut by around $240 per elementary student and around $600 per high school student.
  • Every parent or guardian who pays tuition expenses for a dependent child at an eligible private school can claim the deduction.
  • The deduction can only be used for tuition paid out by the parent or guardian. Fees for extracurricular activities, uniforms, school supplies, meals, transportation, and mandatory book fees, etc. are not deductible. However,
  • Schools may want to reassess their tuition structure to include some of these expenses so parents can benefit from tax savings.
  • If your student moves from 8th grade to high school in the same tax year you may claim both tuition expenses up to $10,000.