The Iowa prom ticket tax credit

April 14th, 2013 by Joe Kristan
Flickr image courtesy Randy Kashka under Creative Commons license.

Flickr image courtesy Randy Kashka under Creative Commons license.

For Iowans seeking last-minute tax savings, maybe it’s time to dance.

Iowa offers a “tuition and textbook” tax credit for certain grade school and high school expenses.  While “textbooks” includes the obvious — textbooks — the definition is surprisingly broad.  From the Iowa Department of Revenue (my emphasis):

Textbooks defined     

“Textbooks” means books and other instructional materials used in teaching those same subjects. This includes fees, books, and materials for extracurricular activities.

Examples of extracurricular activities       

Sporting events, speech activities, musical or dramatic events, driver’s education (if paid to the K-12 school), awards banquets, homecoming, prom (clothing does not qualify), and other school-related social events.

So while you don’t get any tax break for the dress or dinner, the dance might get you credit, aside from whatever credit your high-schooler may give you for helping out with the costs.  The Iowa credit is 25% of the first $1,000 of qualifying expenses for each dependent.

Come back tomorrow for our last 2013 Filing Season Tip!