• James D. Lynch

Educators Can Claim Deduction for Classroom Expenses

Updated: Jul 23, 2019

Educators may be able to deduct unreimbursed expenses on their tax return. Here are some things to know about this deduction:

● Educators can deduct up to $250 of qualified expenses that were not reimbursed. The deduction is $500 if spouses are eligible educators and file their return using the status Married Filing Jointly.

● Qualified expenses are amounts the taxpayer paid during the tax year for items such as books, supplies, professional development course fees, computer equipment (including related software and services) and other equipment and materials used in the classroom.

● To be considered an eligible educator, the taxpayer must be a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide. They must also work at least 900 hours a school year in a school that provides elementary or secondary education as determined under state law.

● The educator expense deduction is an “above the line” deduction that taxpayers can take regardless of whether or not they itemize deductions.

● As teachers prepare for the next school year, they should remember to keep receipts after making any purchase to support claiming this deduction.

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