Who Qualifies for the Educator Expense Tax Deduction?

As an NEA member, you can earn cash back when you purchase tax prep products and services, such as TurboTax, H&R Block and more, through NEA Discount Marketplace. Look under the “Office Supplies” filter and click on “Finance & Tax Prep” to find available offers to members https://turbo-tax.org/ during this tax season. From 2018 through 2025, the TCJA has suspended miscellaneous itemized deductions subject to the 2% of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) floor. Adjusted gross income is essentially your gross income minus certain adjustments the IRS allows you to take.

Educator Expense Deduction

So, if you’re an educator who has unreimbursed out-of-pocket classroom expenses, here’s what you need to know about the educator expense tax deduction. Originally part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act, the educator expense deduction is indexed to inflation, so it doesn’t lose its value over time. Even better is that this deduction comes “right off the top” of your gross income and is not part of itemization. This is an important issue considering recent changes to the tax structure that nearly doubled the standard deduction for many people—thus eliminating the need to itemize. An educator who worked in a first-grade classroom at a public school and met the hours requirement would likely qualify for the deduction. Similarly, a guidance counselor who purchased materials to work with students could also be eligible.

How much can teachers deduct for school supplies?

But there’s also a teacher tax deduction available to help offset these expenses. Let’s cover the basics on educator expense deductions here so you can maximize your tax deductions as a teacher. Ambrose said that, as a new classroom teacher just out of college, he would search during tax season for receipts as proof of the money he had spent on his classroom. “As time went on, I knew I was always exceeding the deduction limit,” said Ambrose, who estimates that, as a classroom teacher until 2021, he sometimes spent more than $500 annually on classroom expenses. For the first time since the Internal Revenue Service enacted the educator expense deduction in 2002, the agency raised it from $250 to $300 for the current tax filing season. But the deduction remains far less than what many teachers spend on out-of-pocket classroom and related expenses annually.

  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated that deduction beginning in 2018 through at least 2025.
  • The school can be a public, private, or religious institution.
  • Qualified expenses include ordinary and necessary expenses paid in connection with books, supplies, equipment (including computer equipment, software, and services), and other materials used in the classroom.
  • H&R Block helps you find all the answers about retirement taxes.

However, it’s nonrefundable, which means you have to have some tax liability for it to count against. This is not limited to undergraduate education, nor do you have to be pursuing a degree, so educators may make use of this for their own career development. Unfortunately, filling out your tax returns and keeping track of deductions remains as complicated as ever. Learn how teachers can save by reading Pasquesi Sheppard’s teacher tax deductions list. For 2022, an eligible educator can deduct up to $300 of qualifying expenses.

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The Educator Expense Deduction allows eligible educators to deduct up to $300 worth of qualified expenses from their income for 2022. Your accountant is your best bet for personal deductions beyond the standard teacher deductions — after all, you may have a side gig we don’t know about! But if you’re a teacher who has gone back to school to pursue additional education, be aware that there are deductions for tuition that may exceed that $300 limit.

The Educator Expense Tax Deduction allows teachers and certain academic administrators to deduct a portion of the costs of technology, supplies, and certain training. Here’s what teachers need to know about taking the Educator Expense Deduction on their tax returns. If you are married to another teacher, your teacher deduction options go up — sort of.

What Schools Should Know as IRS Increases Educator Expense Tax Deduction for 2022

Specifically, you need to be a K–12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide for at least 900 hours during the school year. Your AGI helps determine whether you qualify for certain tax deductions and credits. Your taxable income, on the other hand, is the figure the IRS uses to determine your tax rate and how much you may owe. To be an “educator,” you can be a teacher, principal, instructor, counselor or aide.

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 made the above-the-line educator expense deduction permanent, however, and it indexed it for inflation, too. Although the limit remained at $250 from 2015 through 2021, it increased to $300 for the 2022 tax year. One spouse can’t claim $400 while the other spouse claims $200 for the $600 total. 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. You can claim the educator expense deduction on line 11 of Schedule 1 (Form 1040), Additional Income and Adjustments to Income.

It’s important to keep track of your expenses long before you file your return, so you don’t have to scramble at tax time. Also, hold on to your receipts in case your accountant or the IRS wants to check your work. The sweeping 2017 tax reform bill made a lot of changes, and Congress did consider altering the https://turbo-tax.org/educator-expense-deduction/.

  • After all, if you got a check back from your school district or a grant to cover the costs, it technically wasn’t out-of-pocket spending, and that means it doesn’t qualify as an income tax reduction.
  • Your accountant is your best bet for personal deductions beyond the standard teacher deductions — after all, you may have a side gig we don’t know about!
  • The past year continuing to recover from the global Covid-19 pandemic has been stressful in its own way on the mind, body and budget.
  • There are also income limitations to take this type of credit.
  • You don’t have to go through all the fuss and trouble of itemizing to claim it because it’s an adjustment to income.
  • Read on to find out how much you are allowed to take off your taxes and what items qualify for deductions.

Two married teachers filing a joint return can take a deduction of up to $300 apiece, for a maximum of $600. Let an expert do your taxes for you, start to finish with TurboTax Live Full Service. Or you can get your taxes done right, with experts by your side with TurboTax Live Assisted. Just answer simple questions, and we’ll guide you through filing your taxes with confidence. In years past, policy experts at the Economic Policy Institute have done similar reviews of teacher spending, and their analysis indicates nine in 10 teachers are not reimbursed for the things they buy. And if you’re not being reimbursed, that’s where keeping track of your spending could become useful come tax time.