Is Tuition for Christian Schools Deductible in Iowa?

Question from a visitor to this website: Is tuition paid to a Christian K-12 school deductible in Iowa?

Short answer: the tuition is not “deductible,” but some of the tuition might qualify for the Iowa “Tuition and Textbook Credit.”

Longer answer: Iowa allows a tax credit for tuition, fees and supplies paid on behalf of dependents attending K-12 schools. The credit is 25% of the first $1,000 of eligible expenses per child (so the maximum credit is $250/child).

The law says expenses paid to schools that teach religious doctrines doesn’t count toward the credit. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck on claiming the credit if you send your kids to a private, religious school.

If you send your kids to a private religious school, you can still claim the credit as long as you can separate out the amount of tuition that went towards the teaching of religious topics vs. general education.


You send your child to a Catholic school. You pay $4,000 in tuition. The school spends 75% of its time teaching general education topics and 25% on religious doctrines. In this case, $3,000 (75% of $4,000) would be eligible for the credit.*

(*-But remember, the true maximum for the credit is $1,000 per child, so you’d get a credit based off $1,000 of expenses.)