School may look a little different this year, but eligible teachers and other educators can still deduct certain unreimbursed expenses on their tax return next year.
Who is considered an eligible educator:
You must be a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide. You must also work at least 900 hours a school year in a school that provides elementary or secondary education as determined under state law.
Things to know about this deduction:
Educators can deduct up to $250 of trade or business expenses that were not reimbursed. As you prepare for the school year, you should remember to keep receipts after making any purchase to support claiming this deduction.
The deduction is $500 if both you and your spouse are eligible educators and file your return using the status married filing jointly. You cannot deduct more than $250 each.
Qualified expenses are amounts the taxpayer paid themselves during the tax year.
Examples of expenses a qualified educator can deduct include:
- Professional development course fees
- Computer equipment, including related software and services
- Other equipment and materials used in the classroom