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Iowa tax tidbit: tuition & textbook credit

Iowa flag Iowa parents will want to take a look at line 48 of their tax returns. That's where they can claim the state's Tuition and Textbook Credit. 

This tax break is available to taxpayers with youngsters in grades kindergarten through 12 in an Iowa school. The credit is 25 percent of the first $1,000 paid for each dependent child's tuition and textbooks at an accredited school.

For the credit purposes, tuition means any charges for the expense of personnel, buildings, equipment and materials other than textbooks, as well as other costs that relate to the teaching of subjects legally and commonly taught in Iowa's public elementary and secondary schools.

But tuition does not include a school's charges for feeding, lodging, clothing or transporting your kids.

As for textbooks, the Hawkeye State recognizes books and other instructional materials used in teaching the same subjects covered under tuition.

Iowa, however, apparently appreciates well-rounded students. Fees, books and materials for some extracurricular activities also count toward the credit.

A list of what expenses are and are not eligible for the credit are found on pages 26 and 27 of the expanded instructions for the IA 1040 tax return.

Tax trip around the United States: This post is part of our series highlighting tax information from the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. You can read other state tax blurbs at our Complete menu of tasty state tax tidbits.

The State Tax Departments page provides links to official state and District of Columbia revenue Web sites so that you can find out more about your home's tax laws and filing requirements.

As we work through the 2010 tax season, a different state will be featured each day as noted in Don't forget your state taxes! Check back to see what tax tidbit we share about your home.

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