What Is an Educator Expense Tax Break Credit?

As a teacher, you may purchase supplies, books, and materials for your classroom using your own funds. If you are an eligible educator, you can deduct up to $250 of these expenses when you file your taxes using the educator expense tax deduction.

Qualified Expenses

Please note that you can only deduct qualified expenses on your taxes, and these include any expenses you paid or incurred for professional purposes. As a teacher, some of these expenses may include the following:

  • Professional development courses
  • Books and supplies
  • Computer equipment, as well as any related software
  • Other equipment
  • Any supplementary materials you will use in the classroom

If you teach health or physical education classes, any expenses you incur or supplies you purchase must be athletic supplies.

Are You an Eligible Educator?

You can only take advantage of this tax break credit for the prior tax year if you are considered an eligible educator. Eligible educators include those who are kindergarten through 12thgrade teachers, instructors, counselors, principals, or aides who work for at least 900 hours every year at an institution that provides elementary or secondary education.

Don’t Stop at $250

Note that just because this deduction is available for up to $250 doesn’t mean that you should stop keeping track of your expenses once you hit this mark. After you reach an excess of $250, you can count any additional expenses as “unreimbursed employee expenses.”

For example, if you itemize your deductions, you can deduct any job-related expenses that take up more than two percent of your adjusted gross income. These expenses can include classroom supplies as well as investment costs, union dues, and travel expenses, for example.

Seek Other Resources 

As a teacher, managing your deductions every year accurately can be a challenge. GovDocFiling is an excellent resource you can use to make this process easier. Contact them today to find out more!