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Educator Expenses

How much is the educator expense tax deduction?

If you are an eligible educator you can deduct up to $250 of qualified expenses as an adjustment on line 23 of Form 1040. Also, the letter "E" should be entered in the space to the left of the amount.

If you and your spouse are both eligible educators and are filing jointly, you can deduct up to $500 of qualified expenses, but not more than $250 for each individual.

What is an eligible educator?

An eligible educator is a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide who works in a school for at least 900 hours during a school year.

What are qualified expenses?

Qualified expenses include ordinary and necessary expenses paid in connection with books, supplies, equipment (including computer equipment, software, and services), and other materials used in the classroom.

What are ordinary expenses?

An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your educational field.

What are necessary expense?

A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your profession as an educator. An expense does not have to be required to be considered necessary. Qualified expenses do not include expenses for home schooling or for non athletic supplies for courses in health or physical education.

What reduce qualified expenses?

Qualified expenses must be reduced by the following amounts:

  • Excludable US series EE and I savings bond interest from Form 8815, Exclusion of Interest From Series EE and I U.S. Savings Bonds Issued After 1989.
  • Nontaxable qualified state tuition program earnings
  • Nontaxable earnings from Coverdell education savings accounts
  • Any reimbursements you received for these expenses that were not reported to you in Box 1 of your W-2 form.

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