According to the IRS, to be entitled to deduct the taxpayer must be the person who worked 900 hours or more teaching kindergarten through 12th grade school that provides basic or secondary education. Deduction is also available for other taxpayers working in the education field including counselors, principals, aides, etc.
If you and your spouse both work in the education field, then you can each claim a deduction in the amount of up to $ 500. Just remember, the individual limit is $ 250. Therefore, if your spouse spends $ 400 per classroom supplies and you spend only $ 50, the most you can draw is $ 300 (your spouse’s $ 250 limit phone + $ 50).
think outside the box
In addition to the resources inside the classroom is also possible to draw a handful of other related expenses including gas spent on field trips, subscription journals, and even fees paid union dues.
This is an above-the-line deduction, which means you can use it even if you do not itemize your return. They are also generally more favorable than-the-line deductions. Firstly, they are deducted from the gross income of the taxpayer, rather than adjusted gross income (AGI). Second, above-the-line deductions are not subject to income sensitive phase outs or restrictions. Certain below-the-line deductions, however, are being phased out for wealthy taxpayers and / or can be taken only if they exceed a certain percentage of discipline.
Do not spend too much now
This is probably the best piece of advice anyone can give new teachers. It may be exciting to find out that you can reduce up to $ 250 worth of expenses, but remember that it is the annual maximum. If you overspend at the beginning of the school season, you may find yourself having to budget well come spring.
Keep all receipts
It is very important to keep all receipts from purchases you want to reduce. Without a receipt, you will have no way to prove to the IRS that you made the purchase if you were ever audited. In addition, you might want to keep a record of what the cost of running total. So you know how much of the allowed deduction life you’ve spent so far.
While you are limited to $ 250 deduction of the federal government, dozens of state and local governments also offer incentives for teachers and educators. Be sure to talk to local experts, or check with your state revenue department to see if any other benefits are available.