How the Illinois Tuition Tax Credit Works

Published July 1, 1999

Illinois Senate Bill 1075 provides taxpayers with an income tax credit of up to $500 for 25 percent of their child’s qualified education expenses above $250.

Availability: First applies in tax year 2000.

Amount: The maximum credit is $500 per family, not per child.

Eligible Expenses: “Qualified education expense” means the amount on excess of $250 incurred on behalf of a qualifying pupil for tuition, book fees, and lab fees at the school in which the pupil is enrolled during the regular school year.

Eligible Taxpayers: Only taxpayers who are custodians of qualifying pupils–parent, parents, or the child’s guardian–are allowed to use the income tax credit. The credit is not refundable, and thus it is available only to eligible taxpayers who have a state income tax liability.

Qualifying Pupils: Individuals who, during the school year for which the credit is sought, are (i) Illinois residents, (ii) under 21 years of age at the close of the school year, and (iii) enrolled full_time in a kindergarten through twelfth grade education program at a qualifying school.

Qualifying Schools: Any public or nonpublic elementary or secondary school in Illinois that is in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and attendance at which satisfies the requirements of Section 26_1 of the School Code; that is, private or parochial schools with English-language instruction in the branches of education taught to children of corresponding age and grade in the public schools. The bill specifically provides that it shall not be construed to require a child to attend any particular public or nonpublic school to qualify for the credit.