Tax Deductions for Educators

Educators may be able to deduct unreimbursed expenses on their tax return. This deduction can put money right back in the pockets of eligible teachers and other educators. Here are some things to know about this deduction.

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Educators can deduct up to $250 of trade or business expenses that were not reimbursed. As teachers prepare for the next school year, they should remember to keep receipts after making any purchase to support claiming this deduction.

The deduction is $500 if both taxpayers are eligible educators and file their return using the status married filing jointly. These taxpayers cannot deduct more than $250 each.

Qualified expenses are amounts the taxpayer paid themselves during the tax year.  Examples of expenses the educator can deduct include:

  • Professional development course fees
  • Books
  • Supplies
  • Computer equipment, including related software and services
  • 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.


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