Tax Insights

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New deduction for qualified educators

With the new year quickly approaching, it is time to start thinking about taxes for 2019. If you are a teacher that spends out of pocket money for your classroom, good news! Some of those expenses may be deductible on your tax return.

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Educators who work in schools can qualify to deduct up to $250 of unreimbursed expenses. If two educators are married and file a joint return, the deduction increases to $500. However, neither spouse can deduct more than $250 of their own expenses when they file.

Here’s how to qualify for the deduction:

  • Teach any grade K-12.
  • Are a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide.
  • A minimum of 900 hours worked during the school year.
  • Work in a school that provides elementary or secondary education.

Qualified expenses include:

  • Courses for professional development
  • Books
  • Supplies
  • Computer equipment including software
  • Supplementary materials
  • Athletic supplies needed for physical education

If you think you qualify for this deduction, keep track of your expenses throughout the year and report them to your Henry+Horne tax advisor when it is time to file your taxes.


Laine Sperbeck