Tax Deduction for Educators

If you are a K-12 teacher, you may have been in a situation where you paid out-of-pocket for classroom supplies or items in relation to your students’ learning experience. As an educator, you may be eligible for the Educator Expense Deduction. If eligible, you may deduct up to $250 of qualified expenses. Married couples that are filing a joint return and are both eligible educators may deduct up to $500 (limited to $250 deduction per spouse).

The criteria in order to claim this deduction is to have:

  • Worked at least 900 hours
  • Worked as a teacher, instructor, teacher’s aide, counselor, principal, or administrator in a K-12 school.

A qualified expense generally falls under the following categories:

  • Professional development courses 
  • Books and classroom supplies
  • Computer equipment (including related software and services)
  • Athletic supplies (physical education)

It’s important to keep records, and save receipts of any qualifying expense. Make sure these expenses are relevant to your specific field of work. These expenses can’t be reimbursed in order to claim the deduction.
For more details, please visit the IRS website.

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Melisa Zarate

Melisa Zarate

Melisa Zarate is currently an analyst at Goldman Sachs. She grew up in a small town on the Central Coast and attended public schools K-12. As a first-generation college graduate, Melisa attended California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo and earned a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in finance. She is passionate about community, equity and education.

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