What is the Educator Expense Tax Deduction for Teachers?

Posted by Kristen on January 28, 2014

Teachers often spend money out of pocket on supplies for their classroom. If you are a teacher make sure you are taking advantage of a tax deduction specifically for you.

The Educator Expense Deduction, which is also referred to as the tax deduction for teachers, is a $250 tax deduction.

What is the Educator Expense Deduction?

If you are an eligible educator as defined by your state, you can deduct any unreimbursed expenses you occurred for your classroom during the school year. This deduction can consist of anything that you spent money on for your classroom that came out of your own money and you were not reimbursed for by the school.

Expenses can include any books, supplies, computer equipment, software, and other supplementary supplies. For physical education or health related classes, any equipment related to athletics can be deducted.

Who Can Claim the Educator Expense Deduction?

Eligible educators are grade school and high school (kindergarten through grade 12) teachers, instructors, counselors, principals, and aides. This deduction is not eligible for parents who home school their children.

You also have to work 900 hours during the school year to qualify for the deduction.

Educator Expense Deduction Rules

You cannot claim both a deduction for Educator Expenses and the same deduction for Unreimbursed Employee Expenses.

In addition, the expenses must exceed any tax-free withdrawals from:

Educator Expense Tax Deduction

The deduction is the total amount you spent in this tax year. You can deduct up to $250 or $500 if you are married filing jointly and both spouses are educators.

This deduction is one of adjustments that will lower your Adjusted Gross Income. Claim your educator expense deduction 2014 on line 23 of Form 1040 or line 16 of Form 1040A. You do not need to itemize to claim this tax deduction.

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