It’s officially tax season…cue the groans! Taxes are a task that few people look forward to.
However, as a teacher, several deductions can be utilized to maximize your tax breaks.
Check these out!
The Educator Expense Tax Deduction
If you were employed as a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or teacher aide for students in kindergarten through grade 12, this tax break is for you.
If you worked for at least 900 hours at a school certified by a state to provide elementary or secondary education. Public, private, and religious schools are also included in this tax break!
How Much Can I Claim for Educator Expenses?
Can teachers deduct expenses? Absolutely! However, if you’re a teacher, you must know what expenses you can claim and how much you can claim to get the most out of your income taxes.
Qualifying elementary and secondary school teachers and other eligible educators (such as counselors and principals) can deduct up to $250 from qualified expenses.
If you’re married to someone who is also an educator, you may deduct up to $500 in educator expenses from your income taxes. That said, neither party may deduct more than $250 each.
Can teachers deduct school supplies?
Yes! Thank goodness too! We know you have spent a pretty penny on supplies! Here are the items eligible for the Educator Expense Deduction include:
Athletic equipment (for physical education teachers)
Any purchased item that is appropriate and helpful for students in your classroom
Remember that you can only receive a teacher’s tax credit for these items if you have yet to be reimbursed for the money spent. So you could not deduct it if your school, teacher’s union, or another party paid you back for these expenses.
Do you use a home office?
Good news, you can deduct those expenses!
Remember, there are rules for deducting expenses for your home office. For example, a home office must be used solely for work purposes, which may be a complex requirement to meet.
Many teachers have a side hustle these days…actually most people have a side hustle, right? This deduction might be applicable if you perform some kind of 1099 work or have your own side business out of your home.
Can Teachers Deduct Expenses for Continuing Education?
Put that professional development and continuing ed credits to work in your classroom and your bank account! As an educator, you may be able to deduct expenses associated with continuing education, such as:
Professional development/conference fees
For tax years 2018 through 2025, educators can no longer deduct union dues. Tax refund? Ca-ching! Tax breaks and special discounts for being an educator go hand-in-hand! Check out daily deals at Educator Marketplace, from travel deals to home goods, technology, groceries, clothing, and more!
Written By: Meredith Biesinger
Professional Writer/ Education Specialist