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Category: Education: Tax Breaks Related to School

Deduction for Educator Expenses

If you are an eligible educator, you may be able to deduct up to $250 of expenses you paid for purchases of books and classroom supplies. These out-of-pocket expenses may lower your 2017 tax bill even if you don’t itemize your deductions.


If you do itemize your deductions, you cannot claim the same educator expenses as both a Deduction for Educator Expenses and as a deduction for Unreimbursed Employee Expenses. You can only list these expenses as a deduction in one place on your return.


Who qualifies to take the deduction?

The deduction is available if you are an eligible educator in a public or private elementary or secondary school (K - 12). To be eligible, you must work at least 900 hours during a school year as a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide.


What can you deduct?

You may subtract up to $250 of qualified expenses when figuring your adjusted gross income (AGI). Qualified expenses are unreimbursed expenses you paid or incurred for books, supplies, computer equipment (including related software and services) and supplementary materials that you use in the classroom. For courses in health and physical education, expenses for supplies are "qualified expenses" only if they are related to athletics.


To locate the Educator Expense entry within your TaxSlayer account, please log into your account and from the My Account screen, select Federal Section >> Deductions >>Enter Myself >>Adjustments >>Educator Expenses.


For additional information, please see the IRS tax topic 458 Educator Expense Deduction