For anyone who thinks there’s no bias left against homeschoolers…

If you’re a teacher, you can deduct your teaching expenses (supplies, etc.) when doing your taxes.

Unless you’re a homeschool teacher, of course.  Because it’s not like they are real teachers.

And anyway, what expenses could those weirdos have?  They only have to buy all of their school supplies, from textbooks to lab equipment, out of their own pockets.

Fuck you, Fed.  Fuck you very much.

EDIT: Oh yeah, did I mention we also pay the local taxes that fund the public schools along with all of our own schooling expenses?

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  1. Well… to be frank, they often are not. Not in the sense the state means, at least: namely, they don’t have teaching degrees and aren’t certified. They usually don’t get paid for their homeschool teaching, and I think that’s the first requirement for being able to deduct expenses in your taxes… For example, I consider myself a writer… but until Newsweek published me and paid me for it, the IRS wouuldn’t have considered me a writer.

    1. But each state works differently, and you’d think that at least something could be done. For example… if you homeschool in Texas, you’re technically considered a private school, and under those laws. If that’s the case, why not allow deductions? Or in Ohio, where you have to either have your child tested annually, or turn in portions of your child’s work each year so show that you’re teaching your child. It’s not a certification, but if they keep track of things to that extent, again why not allow for deductions?

      1. I’m not against homeschooling parents making tax deductions, I’m just trying to play devil’s advocate here and explain possible reasons why states wouldn’t allow the deductions.

  2. I homeschool my autistic son, and let me tell you how furious the school was then I pulled him out. Every year I have to go in and update his IEP (complicated story), and every year they see fit to remind me how lousy I am, how I can’t possibly be as effective as them, and how much better it would be if I just let them do their jobs. Not to mention that although he qualifies for services (speech therapy and occupational therapy)… because he’s homeschooled, he can’t receive the services. Even if he were in a private school, the public schools would allow it, but not for homeschoolers.

    1. Public education is arguably the biggest power grab the government ever pulled…I’m not surprised they’d do every little thing possible to hold onto it.
      Reply | Parent

  3. I wonder if a good tax accountant can finangle it…

    Maybe have Stacey work as a tutor. And write off her self-employed expenses.

    I long ago realized the American tax code is a bunch of bullshit. It’s also why I support “school vouchers”. I don’t think they’ll ever hand $4,000 to a home schooling family. Perhaps someday. But they might eventually allow you an additional tax credit.

    Furthermore, why are vitals not tax-deductible. I mean, ALL medical expenses, prescriptions, health insurance should be tax-deductible.

    I am like “either give me a simple sales & interest tax” or “give me a fair and decent tax code”.

    Alas, not much will change it….and every time we petition our legislators to do so and fix it they wind up just mucking it up more pretending they’re doing what we want and then pimping it out to the biggest donors.

  4. Paying school taxes as a homeschooler is certainly irritating. Just think of how much more you could do with that money than the public school, it’s enough to make you sick. Even more so if you think about how much the actually have per student. And people think socialized medicine would be good!

  5. I agree…

    That is totally unjust.

    Personally, I think the tax code needs to be revised wholesale. Simple per person deduction and then linear progressive tax rate.


    Tax code could then be written on like 2 sheets of paper. No hassles and you could cut the size of the IRS by an order of magnitude.

    1. Re: I agree…

      So no medical deductions?

      1. nope..

        One of the biggest complaints about the American Tax system is how convoluted and complex it has become–and even though I’m a hard core liberal–or maybe because I’m a hard core liberal… I tend to agree with this complaint. The tax code has gotten unreasonably complex, and has clearly become the tool of special interests.

        I think that not only could you cut down on cheating, but you could cut down total overall rates (because of the lowered cheating) by simply removing all possible loopholes and deductions and what not by setting up a standard system that has a decent level of tax-free income (starting around 25,000 or so) and then putting in a progressive linear tax rate on all income above that level.

        No deductions for anything else… (maybe for kids… something like an extra $5-10 grand per kid in non-taxed income).

        Same kind of thing for corporate taxes.

        Furthermore–the gov’t would be banned from doing any kind of “tax incentive” type shit… That’s what the market is for, correct? I get sick and tired of people bitching about how the “free market” is awesome, but then want “tax breaks” in order to do their own little pet projects.. If you get tax breaks, then the market is being distorted… So.. fuck tax breaks for anyone.. everyone gets the same playing field and if they fail, they fail. If gasoline prices have to go up and that fucks with people.. then they should have thought about that before buying gas guzzlers…

        Sorry.. i will stop venting/ranting now..

        1. Re: nope..

          Damn straight.

          One of my lingering irritations with the Bush administration is that they promised tax simplification and never delivered.

          1. yeah…

            .. and besides the obvious fact that there are so many vested interests in keeping loopholes and even in making taxes complicated (tax attorneys anyone, anyone?!?), IT WOULD BE SO EASY TO SIMPLIFY THE SYSTEM.

            I could make an excell macro in an hour that would allow everyone to do their taxes in 5 minutes. All they would need to know is their income and how many kids they could claim.

            boom. done.

            Government does not need to be this complex. Some complexity, of course, is probably necessary, but not in things like taxes… that is just a recipe for corruption.

          2. Re: yeah…

            But Loki… don’t you care about the children? Or sick people? Or our hard-working farmers? Or legally blind homosexual yak-herders with gout?

            I crack up whenever I get to the “silly question” stage of my taxes, especially the state taxes… there’s always something in there that’s absurdly specific, like “Did you adopt a red-haired Rwandan refugee during Lent?”

          3. hahaha…

            Wisconsin’s only questions like that are to sucker in the environmentalists.. “do you want some of your tax return to go to save the poor duckies?”

          4. Re: yeah…

            I’m guessing you’re healthy and don’t have to care for someone who isn’t. The first 6 months Rob and I were married, he spent well over 10% of his annual income on my medical expenses… and I was covered under my dad’s medical insurance for the first 3 months!

            I agree that the tax system could be made simpler, but I think allowing medical expenses to be tax-deductible is a necessity.

            And weren’t you complaining in this entry about not being able to write off homeschooling materials with your taxes?

          5. Re: yeah…

            I agree with that the tax system should be pruned of all special deductions. Actually, I don’t support income tax whatsoever, but that’s an argument for another day. A simple percentage system would be a great improvement.

            However, if there are special tax breaks for certain expenses, then yes, I want to be able to take advantage of the expenses which apply to us, instead of being excluded (in this case) because of a systemic bias against homeschoolers. As it is, we pay for all of our own education expenses as well as those of other kids in our region.

            Incidentally, I do care for someone who is chronically ill with a whole laundry list of afflictions. My medical expenses have skyrocketed since getting married.

          6. I am healthy…

            but the problem I see with this kind of argument, is that everyone then makes it and wants their special deduction.. and when that starts to happen all over the place, then you eventually get a system that is so complex that large corporations and people who can hire tax lawyers can often end up “working the system” such that they can pay less than the average working stiff. Thus, this kind of deduction system ends up being a shift of the tax burden from those that are relatively well off towards those who are less well off.

            Now.. if all deductions were eliminated and the tax code was relatively transparent, then i do believe (and have run some numbers once in a while) that overall tax rates could be lowered and thus your husband would have more money to cover your medical expenses in the end.

            Fairness in any system has to include transparency or else “fairness” quickly becomes a cover phrase for exploitation.

            In any case.. my take on health care–and I’m sure a bunch of people on here (excluding Avdi, since he and I have already discussed this any number of times) will get all up in arms about this–is that the system we have now is royally fucked.

            My basic liberal attitude is that things like education and health should be basic rights that everyone should have equal access to… if this could be done with a private system for less money than a public system with quality care for everyone, then I would support such a system, but everything that I’ve experienced (I lived in Germany for 3 years and got to see their public “socialized” medicine and it was awesome) and read tends to make me question whether private firms are necessarily always the best way to go. But as Avdi notes, this is an argument for another time..

          7. oh yeah.. PS.. Re: homeschooling materials..

            I agree with Avdi here 100%. He and I have argued quite heatedly about schooling issues in the past–I’m a strong supporter of the public schools I went to, because they were quite awesome… and I know he very much hates them… but despite these disagreements, I do agree with him on the basic principle that it is unfair for people who do decide to homeschool and provide education to their kids–thus not burdening the state with the costs of their kids–and yet also having to pay local taxes to support the public education system–to not be able to get the same deductions as public employees.

            That is just plain bias against people and a fair and equitable system of tax collection should not be biased like this…. (and taken overall.. it really is overkill.. Homeschoolers take on added expenses, and get punished for it… UNFAIR! )

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