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TAX TIPS: Educator expense tax deduction

By Rosalyn Partin, H&R Block

Classroom decorations, books, supplemental learning materials, party supplies and occasional sweet treats are common classroom expenses for K-12 instructors. Do you have to front the costs of these expenses? A lot of times, yes.

But there’s also a teacher tax deduction available to help offset these expenses. Eligible instructors can qualify for an educator expense tax deduction of up to $250. It extends up to $500 if an educator is married to another eligible educator and filing under the status married filing jointly (up to $250 per person combined).

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Common teacher classroom supplies that fit the tax deduction include: books and educational textbooks, instructional supplies (like pens, paper, craft goods, etc.), professional development courses related to curriculum or students, supplementary materials used in the classroom. Protective items paid for by the educator are also deductible such as: air purifiers, surface disinfectant, disposable gloves, face masks, and hand soap and sanitizer.

To qualify as an educator for this deduction, you must spend at least 900 hours within an academic year providing elementary or secondary education. Unfortunately, the educator expense deduction doesn’t apply to homeschooling instructors, or any college professor or instructor in post-secondary learning environments.

Don’t miss important tax deductions such as the Educator Expense deduction. See an H&R Block tax professional for help with your tax return this year!

If you have questions or want to schedule an appointment, please call H&R Block in Manchester TN at 931-728-9462. H&R Block Has Your Back!

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