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Minnesota's Twist on Sales Tax Holiday


 Minnesota: certain educational summer camps qualify for income tax credits.

In lieu of a Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, Minnesota allows tax credits and subtractions for school supplies.

Parents and guardians are advised to save all receipts pertaining to school supplies, which they may be able to apply to the refundable K-12 education credit and the K-12 education subtraction. According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, "Both programs reduce the tax parents must pay and could provide a larger refund when filing a 2013 Minnesota Individual Income Tax Return."

Qualifying purchases must "assist with your child's education." These include paper and pens, notebooks and textbooks, computer hardware and educational software, and even educational summer camps. Keep in mind that the child must be "attending kindergarten through 12th grade at a public, private or home school."

For the K-12 Education Credit, household income limits apply. No income limits apply for the education subtraction.

Sales tax holidays are controversial. While they are popular among consumers, they can create additional work for retailers and they deprive states of needed sales tax revenue. In addition, it has been argued that they don't always benefit the lower income people they were designed to help; it may be easier for wealthier people, who do not live paycheck to paycheck to shop when the holidays occur.

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.