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Have you ever wondered whether homeschooling expenses are tax-deductible?
We all have a vivid picture of how the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic affected ordinary events in the world, including the education system. When the pandemic began, many parents pulled their children out of physical classes and decided to home school them. Even though it seemed like a burden, parents had to do what they found to be in the best interests of their children.
Challenges of Homeschooling
Homeschooling can be challenging. In addition, you have to consider the expenses required to run a smooth homeschooling programme. Some of these expenses include; art supplies (which might cost up to £20 a month), school supplies like pencils, paper, computers, course curriculum and even fees for extra curriculum and educational trips. All these expenses summed up may cost up to £500 per school year for every child in the household, which is cheaper than taking your child to a private school where you could be paying over £1000 per school year.
As many parents lean towards homeschooling, so much should be considered. First of all, the sooner you accept that homeschooling adds to your expenses, the better. Some guardians will want to know if the expenses incurred during homeschooling are tax-deductible. Tax deductions are expenses that are subtracted from your income and, as a result, lower the amount of money you pay in taxes to the government. Most importantly, homeschooling parents should understand that the government does not offer or give any funding to homeschool their children. Homeschooling is private schooling, and just like private school, there will be expenses involved, which will not be as high as a private school.
The expenses incurred when homeschooling is not tax-deductible. You have to cover all the costs without assistance from the government. The good thing about homeschooling is that all your benefits are not affected, and you continue to get all your benefits whether you are a homeschooling parent or not.
You might be wondering; Can donations or homeschool supply expenses be considered tax-deductible? The answer is no. Homeschooling is a parent’s decision; therefore, you are not eligible to have any tax breaks.
Some homeschooling parents, though not all, might feel like opting out of paying the local fees and taxes that are needed to support public schools. Evading these payments is not allowed. Homeschooling your kids does not mean you can opt out of paying your dues to the state as a parent.
Some homeschooling parents think that they can take the educator expense deduction. However, taking the educator expense deduction is not an option because parents or tutors are not considered paid teachers and are not eligible for such determinations. Only taxpaying teachers can qualify for a tax refund on their expenses.
Why can’t homeschooling expenses be considered tax-deductible?
As much as most homeschooling parents feel the need to have the state consider their homeschooling expenses tax-deductible, it may never be possible for the state. Firstly, finding out or identifying home school educators can be an impossible task for the government. Therefore, instead of risking the state’s resources all together in the school system that might be confusing, the government prefers to leave homeschooling expenses in the hands of parents.
Another factor is that homeschooling expenses are not the same for all the families that do homeschooling for their kids. Some families have more kids than others, making their homeschooling expenses more than the families with one or two home-schooled children. On the other hand, some parents know how to handle their homeschooling budgets to suit their children’s educational needs, allowing them to save more money than when they consider having their children in public or private schools.
The good news is that as a homeschooling parent, there are some measures you can put in place to ensure that your homeschooling expenses do not go overboard, traumatising your bank account.
Some of the things you can do to reduce costs of homeschooling include:
- If you have more than one child and intend to homeschool them all, consider taking a curriculum that the students can reuse, which will eventually save you from purchasing a new curriculum all the time.
- Use free learning platforms like Youtube, podcasts etc., rather than paying for all the learning materials.
- Make your curriculum as helpful as possible by incorporating essential life skills like cooking and cleaning to avoid enrolling your child in other online classes.
- Take advantage of cheap online tours and field trips.
- Plan a realistic homeschooling budget at the beginning of every academic year while creating a window for any unexpected expenses during the school year.
Can I homeschool my child for free?
A question that most homeschooling parents ask. The answer is yes. Homeschooling your children means you do not incur school fees, uniform expenses, or other expenses when educating them via the traditional route. Instead, you will find free home education resources through Pinterest, Youtube among others.
As parents we all want our children to have the best quality of education possible despite the expenses. Therefore, if you choose to have your child/children home-schooled, it should be because you have analysed and decided that it’s the best schooling system for them. So, whether the expenses are tax-deductible or not should not deter you from teaching your child at home.
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