Is Private School Tuition An Allowable Deduction Under The Means Test?

by Karen Oakes, Esq.

October 17, 2007

Yup.

When Congress implemented the “means analysis” under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, they also gave a list of expenses which can be deducted from those debtors with higher than normal income. One of the expenses is private school tuition. This is not to say that all tuition, however much it costs, is deductible but generally up to $150 per month can be deducted from the income, per child, for school costs. Many attorneys believe that there was a strong lobbying effort from parochial school supports, along with private religious school supporters, to make this deduction possible.

A debtor can also deduct the costs of telecommunication expenses necessary for the health and welfare of the debtor or his dependents. In this age, kids need to have access to the internet in order to research projects. Some would argue that cable television is necessary in order to keep the child current in daily events.

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I'm a consumer protection lawyer in Oregon, working with people in Klamath; Lake; Jackson; Josephine; Curry; and Deschutes County. I speak regularly on bankruptcy and consumer protection issues nationwide.

Last modified: March 6, 2012