Significant Tax Benefits for Parents of Children With Learning Disabilities

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Tax Deductions

Parents and guardians of children in the United States suffering from learning disabilities (LD) often qualify for considerable tax deductions. As Americans across the country file their income taxes this year, many may be unaware of significant benefits available to them.

Schwab Learning, a nonprofit program of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation dedicated to helping families of children with learning and attention problems, provides easy-to-understand advice for parents wanting to take advantage of these tax benefits at www.schwablearning.org/tax The Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation operates independently of the financial services firm, The Charles Schwab Corporation.

Medical Expense Deductions

An estimated 15-30 percent of families with a disabled child fail to claim one or more tax benefits available to them. Many of these fall into the category of medical expense deductions. The IRS allows guardians of children with LD (which may include parents, grandparents, and other non-relative caretakers) to deduct the following medical expenses from their gross income:

  • Tuition for schools with programs designed to educate children with LD

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  • Tutoring by a teacher qualified to deal with severe LD

  • Related instructional books and materials

  • Transportation expenses to the special school or tutor

  • Diagnostic evaluations by a psychologist, neurologist, or other qualified professional

The National Institutes of Health estimate that 15 percent of the U.S. population has some type of learning disability. Further, the U.S. Department of Education states that almost one-third of students with LD drop out of school - nearly twice the rate of students without LD. Yet, families searching for information on LD are often met with roadblocks - a lack of accurate information or resources that are difficult to understand.

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