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Maryland State Assembly

2014: SB 271 - Income Tax Credit - Home Instruction Expenses


The information on these pages is provided for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice or counsel.


Allows a parent or guardian up to a $1,000 credit against the State income tax for specified home instruction expenses, with unsused portions of the credit to be carried forward for up to five years. The bill also requires the Comptroller, in consultation with the State Department of Education, to adopt specified regulations before the tax credit can be implemented.


UPDATE:

  • Jan. 17, 2014: Senator Nancy Jacobs, the lead sponsor of SB 271, submitted the bill. It was introduced onto the floor of the Senate and assigned to a committe.
  • Mon, Jan. 27: Hand In Hand was in touch with various Delegate and Senators' offices discussing the wording of SB 271.
  • Wed, Jan. 29: Senate Budget and Taxation Committee held a public hearing for this bill. When Senator Jacobs introduced the bill, she acknowledged that her office had been inundated with phone calls and emails expressing concern with the original language. As a result, she submitted an amendment that removed all reference to homeschoolers and regulations. The amendment made the bill applicable to all non-public school students.
  • Delegate Schuh is expected to submit a copy of this bill into the House of Delegates.



HOW THIS BILL EFFECTS HOMESCHOOLERS:

Many homeschooling families living on a single-income budget look at this bill as a much-deserved benefit, particularly when they think about how their property tax dollars support public schools. The proposed state income tax credit for homeschool expenses, however, has a serious and significant string attached to it, which, in the long run will outweigh the limited financial benefit that it offers.

Section (D) of this proposed bill states:

The Comptroller, in consultation with the State Department of Education, shall adopt regulations to carry out the provisions of this [homeschool tax credit].
Those regulations will deal with how the state verifies "the amount of home instruction expenses incurred" and what "participation in a home instruction program" looks like.

The issue of verifying a homeshool expense is fair and will likely involve accountability through receipts. The second issue of verifying "participation" in homeschooling, however, is vague and troubling.

Homeschool families who may want to support this tax credit measure should keep in mind that the proposed bill serves as a mandated gateway to increased regulations on all homeschoolers.


The information on these pages is provided for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice or counsel.


                 

 
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August 20, 2017

 

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