Tuition and Textbook Credit (Accredited K-12 in Iowa)

Authored By: Iowa Legal Aid LSC Funded

Tuition and Textbook Credit

A credit is allowed for tuition, textbooks and items needed for extracurricular activities at an accredited school K-12 school in Iowa.

  • How much is it?
    • It covers up to 25% of the first $1,000 in qualified expenses per child.
  • What are qualified expenses?

    • Books- Books and other instructional materials including those for extra-curricular activities

    • Clothing- “Non-street” costumes for a play or special clothing for a concert not suitable for everyday wear 

    • Driver's education -Only if paid to the K-12 school 

    • Dues, fees, and admissions- Those paid for extracurricular activities such as activity fees; booster club dues; fees for track and cross-country; activity ticket or admission for high school athletic events; fees for a physical education event such as roller skating

    • Materials- Materials for extracurricular activities, such as sporting events, speech activities, musical or dramatic events, awards banquets, homecoming, prom, and other school-related social events

    • Music -Rental of musical instruments for school or band; music / instrument lessons at a school; sheet music used in a school; valve oil; cork grease; music books and reeds used in school bands or orchestras

    • Shop class, agricultural class, home economics, and mechanics class-Cost of required basic materials

    • Shoes-Football, soccer, and golf shoes; cleats for football shoes; track spike shoes (Basketball shoes are considered suitable for street wear so they are not allowed.)

    • Travel- Non-travel fees for field trips if the trip is during school hours

    • Tuition-The school must be accredited. Amounts paid are not allowed if they relate to teaching of religious tenets or doctrines of worship.  If religious education makes up one-eighth of the daily schedule  the taxpayer must reduce the expense by one-eighth.

    • Uniforms-Band, hockey, and football uniforms

Example:  Joe and Stacy file a joint Iowa return. They have two children in K-12. Joey Jr. and Kelly

Joe and Stacy paid the following expenses for Joey:

            $400 Driver’s education fee to the high school

            $100 on football cleats

            $50 on book rentals

            $50 on instrument rental

            $200 on hot lunch

            $15 on a prom T-shirt           

Total    $815

            Joe and Stacy paid the following expenses for Kelly:

             $25 on book rental

             $25 on an instrument rental, and

            $200 on hot lunch

Total    $250

Joe and Stacy have a total of $600 in eligible expenses for Joey Jr. and $50 for Kelly.  They can take a credit of $600 (total qualified expenses) x .25 = $150 for Joey Jr. ’s expenses and $50 (total qualified expenses) x .25 = $12.50 for Kelly’s expenses.  

For more information about Iowa’s adjustments and credits, see IA 1040 EXPANDED INSTRUCTIONS at

Last Review and Update: Aug 03, 2015

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