Church School

Today TaxMama hears from Ann in Texas who wants to know. ” I am a single mother of two children and they attend private schools. I pay Church fees to my daughter’s school only. This is for Parishoner fees. Can the money that I invest in private schools and Church fees be claimed on my tax return? ”


Dear Ann,

The IRS is pretty savvy about religious schools and fees.

Quite often, people try to deduct fees to church and synagogue-related schools as charitable contributions. So the IRS established guidelines. And your Church should be familiar with them.

Get in touch with the school office.

The part of your tuition that is pure tuition is not deductible.

However, there is often a part of what you pay that is specifically a contribution. The school office will be able to give you paperwork to support this – showing that this is a contribution.

OK, that takes care of the charitable part of your payment.

What about the rest of the tuition?

If your children are in pre-school or kindergarten, you may apply those fees towards the Dependent Care Credit – Form 2441. That could be worth $600 – $720 in tax savings,
depending on your income level.

This also applies if your children are older, but are in after-school care. If they are, find out (in writing) what part of your fees are for the after school care. You can use that on Form 2441 also.

I do hope this helps.

And remember, you’ll find answers to lots of questions about education and donations and other tax information, free. Where? At

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