A tip for teachers: Some educator expenses may be tax deductible Internal Revenue Service

Some of the offers on this page may not be available through our website. You will be asked about these expenses during the eFile.com tax interview and we will help you report them on the proper form(s) – you don’t have to worry about exactly where to enter these deductions, we will do it for you! The above positions can be at a public, private, or religious school. The Educator Expense Deduction cannot be taken by homeschooling parents or post-secondary (college) educators. Be sure to visit our Tax Guide for College Students and find out about student forms that can be filed for free.

This is the first time the annual limit has increased since the special educator expense deduction was enacted in 2002. This means for people currently filing their 2021 tax returns due in April, the deduction is limited to $250. The limit will rise in $50 increments in future years based on inflation adjustments.

  1. Tax season can serve as an unwelcome reminder to teachers that they don’t earn as much as they would like to, a problem exacerbated in recent years by continuous increases in the cost of living and relatively flat salaries.
  2. The Educator Expense Deduction allows teachers and certain academic administrators to deduct a portion of the costs of technology, supplies, and certain training.
  3. Our knowledgeable tax pros are experts in uncovering all the credits and deductions available to you.
  4. Answer simple questions and TurboTax Free Edition takes care of the rest.

If you’re an eligible educator, you can deduct up to $300 ($600 if married filing jointly and both spouses are eligible educators, but not more than $300 each) of unreimbursed trade or business expenses. For courses in health or physical education, the expenses for supplies must be for athletic supplies. Qualified expenses also include the amounts for personal protective equipment, disinfectant, and other supplies used for the prevention of the spread of coronavirus. This deduction is for expenses paid or incurred during the tax year. You claim the deduction on Form 1040, Form 1040-SR, or Form 1040-NR (attach Schedule 1 (Form 1040)PDF).

This deduction allows eligible educators to deduct unreimbursed expenses related to education. Qualified expenses include books and supplies used in the classroom and any technology or software necessary to teach students. Teachers spend an average of $750 of their own money each year for school supplies and classroom materials, according to AdoptAClassroom.org. If you’re a qualified K-12 educator, you may be eligible to deduct classroom or professional development expenses on your federal tax return. For the 2022 tax year, the educator expense deduction is increasing for the first time since 2008. It lets you deduct up to $300 of qualifying expenses, up from $250 in prior years.

That amount goes up to $500 if two qualified educators are married and file a joint return. However, neither spouse can deduct more than $250 of his or her qualified expenses when they file. A teacher can deduct up to $300 in unreimbursed expenses for tax year 2022.

The Educator Expense Deduction

Paula Strozyk, an instructional coach at John Newbery Elementary School in Wenatchee, Wash., has spent $215 on personal protective equipment this year. That includes four masks that are transparent, so her students can see how her mouth moves during phonics instruction, two face shields, one pair of goggles, 20 KN95 masks, and eight washable masks. If your expenses exceed $250, you used to treat the amount over that as unreimbursed employee expenses—if the money spent exceeded 2% of your AGI.

You can’t deduct expenses reimbursed by your school, covered by a grant or another source. For additional information regarding personal credits and any alternative minimum tax (AMT), refer to IRS Publication 17 Your Federal Income Tax. The COVID-19 relief deal gives about $57 billion in direct aid to K-12 schools.

Studies show that nearly 94% of teachers pay for their own classroom supplies. Last year, teachers planned to spend on average about $864 of their own money to support classroom learning. You must subtract from your deduction any tax-advantaged funds, such as from a Coverdell education savings account, that you used to pay for your own schooling or professional development courses. You must be a teacher, aide, instructor, counselor, or principal to qualify for the educator expense deduction, and you must have worked at least 900 hours during the school year in a school that’s certified by your state.

The TaxAct program will transfer the information to Line 10 of Schedule 1 (Form 1040) Additional Income and Adjustments to Income. The educator expense deduction rules permit eligible educators to deduct up to $250 of qualifying expenses per year ($500 if married filing educator expenses 2020 jointly and both spouses are eligible educators, but not more than $250 each). The IRS allows you to claim the educator expenses deduction if you’re a teacher and you’ve paid for classroom supplies or other materials out of your own pocket during the tax year.

Know that your income could qualify you for free tax preparation assistance

You don’t have to go through all the fuss and trouble of itemizing to claim it because it’s an adjustment to income. Qualified expenses don’t include expenses for home schooling or for nonathletic supplies for courses in health or physical education. As with all deductions and credits, the IRS reminds educators to keep good records, including receipts, cancelled checks and other documentation. • Unreimbursed employee expenses in excess or that don’t qualify for the Educator Expense Deduction aren’t typically deductible on your federal tax return. However, certain states do allow deductions for certain qualifying expenses as a state tax deduction.

Educators can now deduct out-of-pocket expenses for COVID-19 protective items

If a school, teachers union, parent-teacher association or someone else paid you back for the money you spent on classroom materials, you can’t deduct it. But some teachers say while they’re glad they can now deduct the cost of their PPE, they were hoping the $250 tax break would be increased for this school year, given other unexpected expenses they have had to contend with during the pandemic. Many teachers have had to purchase new technology for remote instruction, or more school supplies than normal to limit students sharing. However, in all cases, other expenses for home schooling or non-athletic supplies for physical education teachers, for example, cannot be deducted. That’s because the IRS doesn’t consider those to be qualified expenses. There’s a wide variety of “qualified expenses” that educators can claim for the educator expense deduction.

The Educator Expenses Tax Deduction

As teachers prepare for the school year, they should remember to keep receipts after making any purchase to support claiming this deduction. 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. Eligible taxpayers can claim this deduction when they file their taxes. The IRS encourages teachers to consider using tax software or consult a tax professional to help guide them through the process of claiming the deduction. For 2022, an eligible educator can deduct up to $300 of qualifying expenses.

For example, if your school doesn’t reimburse the cost of books, supplies, and other materials that you use in the classroom, the amount that you pay out of pocket for those can be deducted on your federal tax return. The unreimbursed cost of computers, software, and related services are also considered qualified expenses for purposes of the deduction. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act “removed all personal tax deductions that were based on exceeding two percent of an individual’s https://turbo-tax.org/ adjusted gross income,” according to Justia, a website that provides information on legal issues, such as taxes. For teachers, such deductions included unreimbursed job expenses like teacher union dues or travel related to professional development. Supplies for courses on health and physical education qualify only if they are related to athletics. Now that fall is here and school has started, many teachers are dipping into their own pockets to buy classroom supplies.

Although the limit remained at $250 from 2015 through 2021, it increased to $300 for the 2022 tax year. You can also deduct the costs of professional development courses you take—presuming that no one reimburses you. The educator expense deduction is an adjustment to income, an above-the-line deduction that’s applied before you decide whether to take the standard deduction or itemize your deductions. For additional information regarding the deduction for certain expenses of an eligible educator, see the Instructions for Form 1040 (and Form 1040-SR)PDF or the Instructions for Form 1040-NRPDF.

Other Restrictions and Limitations

If you were an eligible educator in 2021, you can deduct up to $250 of qualified expenses that you paid in 2021. If you and your spouse file jointly and are both eligible educators, you can deduct up to $500 (but not more than $250 each). Educators can deduct up to $250 of trade or business expenses that were not reimbursed.