Tax Talk: Deductions On Out-Of-Pocket Classroom Expenses For Teachers

Tax Talk - Deductions On Out-Of-Pocket Classroom Expenses For Teachers
Teachers often don’t have the supplies they need without providing for them out-of-pocket, as public schools are chronically underfunded. In fact, according to information from the U.S. Department of Education, 94% of teachers in public schools to buy supplies for their classrooms.

To help reduce the burden on teachers at tax time, there is a special tax deduction for teachers called the Educator Expense Deduction. With the help of our accountant at AA Tax and Accounting Services, you can be sure to secure this deduction on your upcoming taxes this year.

Meet The Educator Expense Tax Deduction

While there are many ways that a tax consultant can help you save on your taxes, there is a specific tax deduction called the Educator Expense Tax Deduction. This tax deduction has strict requirements to claim it—like all deductions—which are:

  • Claimants need to work in a school that serves children in kindergarten through grade 12.
  • You will need to complete 900 hours of logged work over the course of the school year.
  • That work needs to be as a teacher’s aide, principal, teacher, school counselor, or instructor.

The requirements may be a bit strict, but at least it is easy to know quickly who is and is not eligible for the tax deduction. Though, to be clear, these educators are not eligible for the Educator Expense Tax Deduction:

  • Pre-school aids and teachers
  • Homeschool instructors
  • College and graduate professors and instructors

What Are Qualified Expenses For An Educator

However, just because you are a qualified educator under the definition of the Educator Expense Tax Deduction, that doesn’t mean that everything is fair game. The kinds of items that are eligible for expense deduction are:

  • School supplies
  • Athletic equipment bought by PE teachers
  • Books
  • Computer software and equipment
  • Items appropriate for student classroom use

Also, it is important that you only count expenses that have not been reimbursed. If you have bought these items and had your school district, union, or others reimburse your expenses, then you can’t claim the Educator Expense Tax Deduction.

How To Claim The Educator Expense Tax Deduction

Once tax season rolls around, and you are looking to claim the Educator Expense Tax Deduction, there are some things you need to do to properly claim this deduction.

Track your expenses – It is important that you keep all your receipts and records of what you bought for your classroom. You may want to file them all together to ensure that the receipts don’t get lost.

Married teachers can file together – At most, the Educator Expense Tax Deduction allows for a single teacher to deduct a maximum of $250. However, if you and your spouse are both teachers and are filing jointly, you can claim a combined $500 deduction.

Work with an accountant – With claiming all the deductions you deserve and managing other tax filing issues, it can help to work with an experienced Cedar City accountant to ensure you have the easiest tax season possible.

Iron County School District Educators Can Find Tax Help With Us

For Iron County School District educators looking for a reliable accountant in Cedar City, look no further than AA Tax and Accounting Services. Along with our regular accounting services, our firm can prepare and file your taxes with a close eye on what deductions, credits, and other tax-saving measures can be implemented to help you save.

If you are ready to tackle your taxes with expert assistance, please contact us today to set up an appointment. We look forward to helping you have the best tax return possible.

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