If you are a teacher and paid for classroom supplies during 2019 out of your own pocket, you may be able to claim the Educator Expense Deduction. Qualifying educators may deduct up to $250 in unreimbursed expenses on their 2019 tax returns.
For joint filers who are both educators, the deduction limit is $500, as long as both filers have at least $250 in unreimbursed expenses. For example, if you had $350 in unreimbursed educator expenses in 2019, while your spouse had only $160 in qualifying expenses, your maximum joint deduction would be $410 ($250 for you, plus $160 for your spouse).
You are an eligible educator if you:
- Are a teacher, counselor, principal or classroom aide at an elementary or secondary school (grades K through 12).
- Work at least 900 hours at the school during the school year.
- Do not receive reimbursement from your school for the educator expenses you wish to deduct.
Examples of qualifying unreimbursed expenses include:
- Books and classroom supplies (folders, notebooks, crayons, paper, etc.)
- Sports and athletic equipment and supplies if you teach health or physical education
- Computer equipment, including software and peripherals like flash drives or a printer
- Professional development workshops and courses
Note, however, that your deduction may be limited if any of the following apply to you:
- You exclude interest from certain U.S. savings bonds on your tax forms because you paid qualified higher education expenses.
- You received a distribution from a qualified state tuition program that you exclude from your income.
- You made a tax-free withdrawal from a Coverdell education savings account.
- You received expense reimbursements from your school that are not shown in Box 1 of your form W-2.
In these cases, you can usually only deduct unreimbursed expenses to the extent that they exceed the interest, distribution, withdrawal or reimbursement that you received.
Greber Tax Advisors does not warrant the accuracy of the information contained herein, nor is it responsible for any errors or omissions and assumes no liability for its use. The information provided is not intended to be construed as a substitute for obtaining proper expert advice from recognized professionals in their related fields. Links to third-party websites are provided as a courtesy. The materials on third-party sites are provided “as is” and without warranties of any kind either express or implied. Greber Tax Advisors exercises no control over the views, accuracy, copyright or trademark compliance or the legality of the material contained on third party sites and does not sponsor, endorse or approve the information, content, products, materials, opinions or services contained on such external sites. The visitor proceeds to these external sites at their own risk. Greber Tax Advisors disclaims any and all liability from damages which may result from the accessing this website, or that of a third party site which is linked to the Greber Tax Advisors website, or from reliance upon any and all information contained therein.