What educator expenses are tax deductible?

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

Teachers, here’s a pop quiz for you. What is the educator expense deduction? Are you an eligible educator? What educator expenses are tax deductible? How much can you deduct?

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The educator expense deduction allows teachers and administrators who qualify to deduct a portion of the cost of technology, supplies and training from their taxes. However, one can only take part in claiming the deduction if those expenses were not reimbursed. If they were not reimbursed by an employer, grant or other source, the deduction is an option for you.

To be eligible, you must be a K-12 grade teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide. During a school year, you must work 900 hours. The school must provide elementary or secondary education as determined under state law.

Up to $250 of expenses not reimbursed may be deducted. Teachers need to keep their receipts after making purchases including preparing for the school year. The receipts support claiming your deduction. If both you and your spouse are qualifying educators and file a tax return as Married Filing Jointly, up to $500 of expenses may be claimed. However, you cannot deduct more than $250 each as the qualified expense amounts are amounts you each paid during the year.

Educator expenses that are tax deductible include:

  • Professional development course fees
  • Supplies
  • Books
  • Computer equipment, and related software and services
  • Other materials and equipment for classroom use including COVID-19 protective items

If you have any questions, contact a Henry+Horne professional for more information.

Cierra Tate