Are tutors and tutoring services tax deductible?

Have you hired a private tutor? In most cases, tutoring services are not tax-deductible at the federal level. However, there’s an important exception:

  • Special Needs Tutoring: If your child has a diagnosed learning disability (such as dyslexia, ADHD, etc.), tutoring expenses may be considered a deductible medical expense. This is true only if a doctor recommends the tutoring specifically to treat or manage the diagnosed condition.
  • Visit Publication 502 at and you will see the following:

Special Education

You can include in medical expenses fees you pay on a doctor’s recommendation for a child’s tutoring by a teacher who is specially trained and qualified to work with children who have learning disabilities caused by mental or physical impairments, including nervous system disorders.

You can include in medical expenses the cost (tuition, meals, and lodging) of attending a school that furnishes special education to help a child to overcome learning disabilities. Overcoming the learning disabilities must be the primary reason for attending the school, and any ordinary education received must be incidental to the special education provided. Special education includes:

  • Teaching Braille to a visually impaired person,
  • Teaching lip reading to a hearing disabled person, or
  • Giving remedial language training to correct a condition caused by a birth defect.

You can’t include in medical expenses the cost of sending a child with behavioral problems to a school where the course of study and the disciplinary methods have a beneficial effect on the child’s attitude if the availability of medical care in the school isn’t a principal reason for sending the student there.

Additional Considerations: State Taxes

Are you a Minnesota Resident? See K-12 Education Credit and Subtraction at where it states:

Only the instructional part of fees qualifies for after-school or summer enrichment programs as an educational expense. This includes private tutoring expenses, but doesn’t include expenses for materials, supplies, transportation, or room and board.

To qualify, the program must be:

  • Academic in nature. This includes courses in such subjects as reading, math, science, history and the fine arts; it does not include sports, athletic activities, or religious instruction.
  • Taught by a qualified instructor who is not the child’s sibling, parent or grandparent.”

Are you a Canadian resident?

Tutoring services that are additional to the primary education of a person with a learning disability or an impairment in mental functions, and paid to a person in the business of providing these services to individuals who are not related to the person. A medical practitioner must certify in writing that these services are needed.”

–Canada Revenue Agency