It’s almost time for the start of the new school year, and if you are a teacher or other educator, you should know that you can still deduct certain unreimbursed expenses. Deducting expenses such as classroom supplies, training, and travel will reduce your 2023 income tax liability. And you don’t even have to itemize to claim this deduction.
How the Educator Expense Deduction Works
The educator expense deduction allows eligible educators to deduct up to $300 of unreimbursed educator expenses in 2023. If two eligible educators are married and file a joint return, they may deduct up to $600 but not more than $300 each. To be eligible, you must be a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide for at least 900 hours during a school year in a school that provides elementary or secondary education as determined under state law.
If you qualify, you can deduct costs of books, supplies, computer equipment and software, classroom equipment and supplementary materials used in the classroom. Expenses for participation in professional development courses are also deductible, and athletic supplies qualify if used for health or physical education courses.
To prevent a missed deduction at tax filing time, keep receipts for qualifying expenses and note each purchase’s purpose.
Don’t forget that teachers and other educators can also take advantage of various education tax breaks for their own ongoing educational pursuits, such as the Lifetime Learning Credit or, in some cases, the American Opportunity Tax Credit.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about tax deductions available to educators, including teachers, administrators, and aides.