What Is the Educator Expenses Deduction?

The educator expense deduction is an adjusted gross income assumption for trainers and other tutoring experts for up to a certain amount in out-of-pocket expenses. This deduction tolerates eligible instructors to subtract unreimbursed expenses related to education.

Educator Expense Deduction

What Expenses Can be Deducted?

Most things you spend money on as a teacher qualify for the educator expense deduction provided that you bought them for use in your classroom. They must be “ordinary and necessary.” This means they are items commonly accepted and used in classroom students benefited from them which includes: Books, Supplies, Computer equipment, technology or software and services, Supplementary materials, Athletic equipment, etc. The costs of professional development courses you take could also be deducted.[i]

How the Educator Expenses Deduction Works

Any teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide who worked at least 900 hours during the school year in elementary through grade 12 classroom can qualify for the educator expenses deduction, for up to $250 in out-of-pocket expenses purchased on an annual basis. Educators must work in a school that provides elementary or secondary education, as defined by the laws of their states. The school you work in must, therefore, be certified by your state, or you can’t qualify for the deduction. Educators at public, private, and religious schools can all qualify to take this deduction.

Who is Eligible?

  1. Teachers may be eligible for the Educator Expense Deduction if they meet specific criteria. Such as:
  • Work as a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or a classroom aide
  • Work with students in elementary through grade 12
  • Complete at least 900 hours of work during the school year
  • Be employed by a school that provides elementary or secondary education as determined by state law
  • An educator who worked in a first-grade classroom at a public school and met the hours’ requirement would likely qualify for the deduction. Similarly, a guidance counselor who purchased materials to work with students could also be eligible.
  1. However, individuals working at pre-schools, homeschooling their children, or who are employed by a college or graduate school would not qualify for this deduction.
  2. The IRS has special qualifications for married couples where both people work as educators.

Where two teachers are married and filing taxes jointly, they are eligible to deduct a total of up to $500, with no more than $250 in expenses for each person.

 If you have any questions, working with a CPA can help you get everything figured out.