Solved: Can I deduct private school tuition for a Special Needs child under the age of 18?
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New Member

Can I deduct private school tuition for a Special Needs child under the age of 18?

My son has needed to attend a private school to accommodate his special needs. His tuition is all out of pocket (no grants/scholarships available) and is a sizable amount.  Can I deduct this and other related expenses?
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New Member

Can I deduct private school tuition for a Special Needs child under the age of 18?

Unfortunately, there's no deduction for k-12 education or special needs, in general. However, there are two other areas that you might qualify for depending on the additional specifics of your situation; the Child & Dependent Care Credit and Medical Expenses (Itemized Deduction). The software asks all of the applicable questions to determine if you qualify. Click the blue hyperlink on every screen that contains more info. 

The Child & Dependent Care Credit. While the 'Qualifying individual' for this credit is typically a child under 13 years old, the credit rules are expanded when your child is physically or mentally unable to care for themselves. In this situation they can be any age, so long as you are paying for the care so that you're able to work. To enter:

  1. Login and click 'Take me to my return'
  2. Then click 'Federal Taxes' tab and select the 'Deductions & Credits' tab.  (If you aren't taken directly to the listing of all expenses, you'll have the option to click, 'I'll choose what I work on')
  3. Scroll down to 'You and Your Family' and click 'Show more'
  4. Click 'Start' next to 'Child and Dependent Care Credit'

The Medical Expense deduction is heavily limited (total expenses limited by 10% of Adjusted Gross Income - AGI a subtotal on your tax return) and only affects your return as an itemized deduction. However, if your child has a prescription for the needed expenses then they may qualify for this deduction. The software will do the calculation for you and tell you the amount needed for it to be worth you entering, before you start to enter. 

  1. Login and click 'Take me to my return'  
  2. Then click 'Federal Taxes' tab and select the 'Deductions & Credits' tab.  
  3. If you see medical expenses listed on this summary screen you can click 'Edit' or 'Review' to the right of them. If you do not see medical expenses listed here, click the 'See all tax breaks' button on the bottom left of the screen.  
  4. Scroll down and click 'Show more' to the right of Medical 
  5. Click 'Start' next to 'Medical Expenses' line. The software will ask you about all of your medical costs.

View solution in original post

7 Replies
New Member

Can I deduct private school tuition for a Special Needs child under the age of 18?

Unfortunately, there's no deduction for k-12 education or special needs, in general. However, there are two other areas that you might qualify for depending on the additional specifics of your situation; the Child & Dependent Care Credit and Medical Expenses (Itemized Deduction). The software asks all of the applicable questions to determine if you qualify. Click the blue hyperlink on every screen that contains more info. 

The Child & Dependent Care Credit. While the 'Qualifying individual' for this credit is typically a child under 13 years old, the credit rules are expanded when your child is physically or mentally unable to care for themselves. In this situation they can be any age, so long as you are paying for the care so that you're able to work. To enter:

  1. Login and click 'Take me to my return'
  2. Then click 'Federal Taxes' tab and select the 'Deductions & Credits' tab.  (If you aren't taken directly to the listing of all expenses, you'll have the option to click, 'I'll choose what I work on')
  3. Scroll down to 'You and Your Family' and click 'Show more'
  4. Click 'Start' next to 'Child and Dependent Care Credit'

The Medical Expense deduction is heavily limited (total expenses limited by 10% of Adjusted Gross Income - AGI a subtotal on your tax return) and only affects your return as an itemized deduction. However, if your child has a prescription for the needed expenses then they may qualify for this deduction. The software will do the calculation for you and tell you the amount needed for it to be worth you entering, before you start to enter. 

  1. Login and click 'Take me to my return'  
  2. Then click 'Federal Taxes' tab and select the 'Deductions & Credits' tab.  
  3. If you see medical expenses listed on this summary screen you can click 'Edit' or 'Review' to the right of them. If you do not see medical expenses listed here, click the 'See all tax breaks' button on the bottom left of the screen.  
  4. Scroll down and click 'Show more' to the right of Medical 
  5. Click 'Start' next to 'Medical Expenses' line. The software will ask you about all of your medical costs.

View solution in original post

New Member

Can I deduct private school tuition for a Special Needs child under the age of 18?

This answer is not necessarily true.  If you have a medical recommendation, and primary function is to address that medical condition, then you can probably do it.  Its a grey area for sure.  I did 1/2 on tuition for my autistic son.
New Member

Can I deduct private school tuition for a Special Needs child under the age of 18?

agree - I may try this if I determine we meet all requirements <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://ldaamerica.org/special-education-expenses-tax-deductible-or-not/">https://ldaamerica.org/spe...>
New Member

Can I deduct private school tuition for a Special Needs child under the age of 18?

hello, i also have an autistic son and he goes to a special school that focuses in this dissability, what do you mean you could do1/2 tuition ? could you explain further? thanks

New Member

Can I deduct private school tuition for a Special Needs child under the age of 18?

My son's school supplied a letter backing the claim of medical expense.  They did it for anyone who asked.  Maybe you can ask them ?  So, I feel that letter helped my own claim.  But, yes, I believe I did 1/2 the amount towards medical deductions.

New Member

Can I deduct private school tuition for a Special Needs child under the age of 18?

Thank you.

 

 

Employee Tax Expert

Can I deduct private school tuition for a Special Needs child under the age of 18?

The IRS does allow some education as a medical expense. Please see page 13 of IRS pub 502.  It includes:

 

You can include in medical expenses fees you pay on a doctor's recommendation for a child's tutoring by a teacher who is specially trained and qualified to work with children who have learning disabilities caused by mental or physical impairments, including nervous system disorders.

You can include in medical expenses the cost (tuition, meals, and lodging) of attending a school that furnishes special education to help a child to overcome learning disabilities. Overcoming the learning disabilities must be the primary reason for attending the school, and any ordinary education received must be incidental to the special education provided.

 

There is much more! Please click the IRS link above.

 

@danielsotog83

@Zink0

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