As an educator, you need to save money where you can. This includes lowering your tax liability. With it being so common for educators to purchase their own classroom supplies multiple times a year, the cost adds up. Luckily, there are several tax breaks for educators to receive part of that expense back. Continue reading to learn more about tax deductions for educators.
Educator Expense Tax Deduction
One of the most important tax breaks for educators is the educator expense tax deduction. The two pieces of criteria to qualify for this tax break are being employed as an educator, instructor, counselor, principal, or teacher aide for students in kindergarten through 12th grade and working at least 900 hours at a certified elementary or secondary school, including public, private, and religious schools. Educators who qualify can deduct up to $250 worth of out-of-pocket classroom costs. If you are married to another educator, you can deduct up to $500 of qualified out-of-pocket expenses. Items that qualify for the educator expense deduction include books, school supplies, computer equipment, software, athletic equipment, and any items purchases to enhance your students’ learning. Remember that you can only use these expenses as a deduction if you have not been reimbursed for them.
Lifetime Learning Credit
With being an educator it is important to continue your education. You may be able to deduct expenses related to continuing your education under the Lifetime Learning Credit. This tax break allows you to deduct 20% of education expenses up to $10,000. The qualification is the continued education must maintain or enhance your job skills or education that you must require by law to keep your job. If the education is to qualify you for a different career, those expenses cannot be deducted. Qualified expenses include tuition, books, fees, supplies, and travel expenses.
Other Possible Deductions
If you are a part of a teacher’s union, you are now unable to deduct union dues. This is cause by tax reforms that will not last through 2025. If you worked form home for most of the pandemic, you may be able to qualify for home office deductions. This type of tax break has very specific qualifications with the home office being solely used for work purposes.
With changing tax code, your tax breaks and deductions vary every year. It is important to stay up to date so you could possibly be reimbursed for expenses that you paid for out-of-pocket. Here at Financial Resources, we want educators to get the most of out of their tax return. Give us a call today to get started!