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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bill # 62 Tax Deduction for Homeschooling or Regulations to come?

Every homeschooler needs to read this bill. Once the Federal Government starts making laws, governing homeschooling, it will supercede all of your state laws. The page that I am copying and pasting is the email I received from my homeschool support group. The links are provided, so you can read the bill for yourself Comment on this bill for those who're interested: I agree with the National Home Education Legal Defense's Bulletin #62 which says that this bill is a bad idea. The federal government is *not* supposed to make laws regarding education--that' s supposed to be left to the states--and once the federal government does make a law, it can cause havoc with the laws that states already have in place. Federal laws supercede state laws and some laws or definitions that states have put in place may be invalidated by federal laws passed in regard to homeschooling. Plus, if the federal government starts giving money for home education (even in the form of tax breaks), someone is going to demand evidence that they are getting their money's worth. Will they demand state testing for everyone? Or some other form of accountability? Personally, I don't want the government any more involved in telling me how to educate my children. Will they try to pressure homeschoolers to use certain types of curricula? Will they exclude unschoolers or those who make up their own curriculum rather than purchasing pre-made curriculum? Will they push for homeschoolers to follow the same sort of curricula that public schools use? I don't want the government to have that much more power over homeschoolers? There are a number of other problems with this bill. I'm sure it was started by some well-meaning person who hoped to help homeschoolers. But I don't want any such legislation passed because it opens up too many horrible possibilities. ... Chavivah ************ ********* *********If you haven't already done so, I encourageall homeschooling parents to read theNational Home Education Legal Defense'sBulletin #62 which offers a thorough andbalanced explanation of another attemptto federally legislate homeschooling: S. 3076: Home School Opportunities Make Education Sound Act of 2008 Introduced : 06/18/08To read Bulletin #62, please use this URL:http://www.nheld./ com/BTN62. htm************ ********* *********Text of bill from http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s110-3076S. 3076: Home School Opportunities Make Education Sound Act of 2008Bill StatusIntroduced:Jun 3, 2008Sponsor:Sen. David Vitter [R-LA]Status:IntroducedGo to Bill Status PageYou are viewing the following version of this bill:Introduced in Senate: This is the original text of the bill as it was written by its sponsor and submitted to the Senate for consideration.Text of LegislationS 3076 IS110th CONGRESS2d SessionS. 3076To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a tax deduction for itemizers and nonitemizers for expenses relating to home schooling.IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATESJune 3, 2008Mr. VITTER introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on FinanceA BILLTo amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a tax deduction for itemizers and nonitemizers for expenses relating to home schooling.Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.This Act may be cited as the `Home School Opportunities Make Education Sound Act of 2008'.SEC. 2. ITEMIZER DEDUCTION FOR HOME SCHOOL EDUCATION EXPENSES.(a) In General- Part VII of subchapter B of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to additional itemized deductions for individuals) is amended--(1) by redesignating section 224 as section 225, and(2) by inserting after section 223 the following new section:`SEC. 224. HOME SCHOOL EDUCATION EXPENSES.`(a) Allowance of Deduction- In the case of an individual, there shall be allowed as a deduction for the taxable year an amount equal to the qualified home school education expenses paid by the taxpayer during the taxable year on behalf of each qualifying child of the taxpayer.`(b) Maximum Deduction- The deduction allowed by subsection (a) for the taxable year shall not exceed the lesser of--`(1) $500 for any qualifying child of the taxpayer, and`(2) $2,000 in the aggregate for all qualifying children of the taxpayer.`(c) Definitions- For purposes of this section--`(1) QUALIFYING CHILD- The term `qualifying child' has the meaning given to such term in section 24(c).`(2) QUALIFIED HOME SCHOOL EDUCATION EXPENSES-`(A) IN GENERAL- The term `qualified home school education expenses' means expenses for--`(i) books, supplies, and other equipment necessary for a course of instruction in a classroom environment,`(ii) academic tutoring,`(iii) special needs services for qualifying children with disabilities (within the meaning of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990), and`(iv) any computer technology or equipment (as defined in section 170(e)(6)(F) (i)) or Internet access and related services, if such technology, equipment, or services are to be used by the qualifying child and the qualifying child's family during any of the years that the qualifying child is educated in an elementary or secondary home school (not including computer equipment designed for sports, games, or hobbies unless such equipment is primarily educational in nature),in connection with a course of instruction in an elementary or secondary home school.`(B) ELEMENTARY OR SECONDARY HOME SCHOOL- The term `elementary or secondary home school' includes any home school that meets the requirements of State law applicable to such home schools and that provides elementary education or secondary education (kindergarten through grade 12), whether or not such home school is deemed a private school for purposes of State law.`(d) Special Rules-`(1) DENIAL OF DOUBLE BENEFIT- Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), no deduction shall be allowed under subsection (a) for any expense for which a deduction or credit is allowed to the taxpayer under any other provision of this chapter.`(2) ADJUSTMENT FOR COVERDELL EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNT DISTRIBUTIONS AND HOPE AND LIFETIME LEARNING CREDITS- The amount of qualified home school education expenses taken into account under subsection (a) with respect to a qualifying child for a taxable year shall be reduced by the sum of--`(A) the amount of any credit allowed under section 25A with respect to such child for such taxable year, and`(B) any amounts excludable under section 530(d)(2) for such taxable year by reason of the qualified elementary and secondary education expenses (as defined in section 530(b)(3)) of such child for such taxable year.`(3) ADJUSTMENT FOR CERTAIN SCHOLARSHIPS, ETC- Rules similar to the rules under section 25A(g)(2) shall apply for purposes of this section.`(4) IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENT, LIMITATION ON TAXABLE YEAR OF DEDUCTION, ETC- Rules similar to the rules under paragraphs (2), (4), and (5) of section 222(d) shall apply for purposes of this section.'.(b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections for part VII of subchapter B of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by striking the item relating to section 224 and inserting the following new items:`224. Home school education expenses.`225. Cross reference.'.(c) Effective Date- The amendments made by this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2007.SEC. 3. ADDITIONAL STANDARD DEDUCTION FOR HOME SCHOOL EDUCATION EXPENSES FOR NONITEMIZERS.(a) In General- Section 63(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (defining standard deduction) is amended--(1) by striking `and' at the end of subparagraph (A),(2) by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (B) and inserting `, and', and(3) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:`(C) the home school education expenses deduction.'.(b) Definition- Section 63(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:`(8) HOME SCHOOL EDUCATION EXPENSES DEDUCTION-`(A) IN GENERAL- For purposes of paragraph (1), the home school education expenses deduction is so much of the amount of the qualified home school education expenses paid by the taxpayer during the taxable year on behalf of each qualifying child of the taxpayer--`(i) as does not exceed $500 with respect to each such qualifying child, and`(ii) as does not exceed $2,000 in the aggregate with respect to all such qualifying children.`(B) QUALIFYING CHILD; QUALIFIED HOME SCHOOL EDUCATION EXPENSES- For purposes of subparagraph (A)--`(i) the term `qualifying child' has the meaning given to such term in section 24(c), and`(ii) the term `qualified home school education expenses' has the meaning given to such term in section 224(c)(2).`(C) SPECIAL RULES- Rules similar to the rules of section 224(d) shall apply for purposes of this paragraph.'.(c) Effective Date- The amendments made by this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2007.

This is definately something I will be keeping an eye on. While they are introducing this as a tax deduction, for homeschoolers, I agree with the writer it could turn into them demanding stiffer regulations. Here in Florida we have to do a yearly evaluation, and that should suffice enough, but as the writer stated, the Federal Government can start making demands, to be sure they are getting what they paid for, if you will. I could, however see how this could be helpful to families who struggle to buy the very expensive supplies. Even with that in mind, I think the Federal Government, getting involved, will probably just lead to stiff regulations. If you have any views on this bill, please feel free to share.

2 comments:

MDMOM said...

Hi Melissa. This is my first visit and I'm enjoying it. thanks for the links and the info on thatbill #62. I agree with you that any gov't "help" is interference I don't want!
I'll be checking back!

Melissa said...

Hello mdmom, thanks for stopping by. This is definately worth keeping an eye on. Have a great day.

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