Teacher Deductions

Educators may be able to deduct unreimbursed expenses on their tax return. This deduction can put money right back in the pockets of eligible teachers and other educators.

Here are some things to know about this deduction:

  • Educators can deduct up to $250 of trade or business expenses that were not reimbursed. As teachers prepare for the next school year, they should remember to keep receipts after making any purchase to support claiming this deduction.
  • The deduction is $500 if both taxpayers are eligible educators and file their return using the status married filing jointly. These taxpayers cannot deduct more than $250 each.
  • Qualified expenses are amounts the taxpayer paid themselves during the tax year.
    • Examples of expenses the educator can deduct include:
    • Professional development course fees
    • Books
    • Supplies
    • Computer equipment, including related software and services
    • Other equipment and materials used in the classroom
  • Taxpayers claim the deduction on Form 1040 or Form 1040NR.
  • To be considered an eligible educator, the taxpayer must be a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide. They must also work at least 900 hours a school year in a school that provides elementary or secondary education as determined under state law.

Do You Have Questions About Which Deductions You Can Claim On Your Return?

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Any tax advice herein is based on the facts provided to us and on our interpretation of tax legislation as it reads at the time the advice is provided. Tax law is subject to continual change, at times on a retroactive basis and may result in incremental taxes, interest or penalties. We are not responsible for updating our advice for changes in law or interpretation after the date the advice is provided. Every tax situation is different. We are not responsible for the tax implications to any individual or entity that may act on this advice.