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Tax Deductions for Teachers & All Educators

Tax Deductions for Teachers & All Educators

Jill Hare, Editor | Teaching

It’s almost tax time again, and if you’re an educator, you don’t want to miss out on deducations that your career spending can qualify you for. To make sure I had the correct information to pass along to you for filing your 2008 taxes, I asked my talented tax man for the latest. Here’s the specific information, right down to the line on the tax form for those of you who file your own taxes:

Grades K-12 teachers, instructors, counselors, principals and aides can deduct up to $250 of out-of-pocket expenses on line 23 of Form 1040 (up to $500 if MFJ and both spouses are educators.) To qualify, the taxpayer must have spent at least 900 hours during a school year as an educator. Qualified expenses included amounts paid for books, supplies (other than nonathletic supplies for course of instruction in health and PE), computer software and equipment, and other equipment, and materials used in the classroom. Amounts that cannot be deducted above the line can be deducted as unreimbursed employee business expenses, subject to the 2% of AGI limit.

Quick Reference Tax Summary for Educators:

• You must be a full-time educator (900 hours per school year)
• The equipment or materials you deduct must have been purchased for classroom use
• You can deduct up to $250 per person ($500 if both you and your spouse are educators)
• Mark these deductions on line 23, Form 1040

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