If you are an eligible educator, you can deduct as an adjustment to income up to $250 in qualified expenses you paid during the tax year. If you and your spouse are filing jointly and both of you were eligible educators, the maximum deduction is $500. However, neither spouse can deduct more than $250 of his or her qualified expenses. This adjustment is entered in our program under the Deductions and Credits tab in the federal program.
You may be able to deduct expenses that are more than $250 (or $500) limit on Schedule A.
Starting with 2017 returns: This provision was modified to include certain expenses related to professional development courses the taxpayer takes related to the curriculum they teach or to their students. The deduction amount will be indexed for inflation for future years.
You are an eligible educator if, for the tax year, you meet the following requirements.
You are a kindergarten through grade 12:
- Principal, or
You work at least 900 hours during a school year in a school that provides elementary or secondary education, as determined under state law.
These are unreimbursed ordinary and necessary expenses you paid or incurred for books, supplies, computer equipment (including related software and services), other equipment, and supplementary materials that you use in the classroom.
An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your educational field.
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 nonatheletic supplies for courses in health or physical education. You must reduce your qualified expenses by the following amounts:
Excludable U.S. series EE and I savings bond interest from Form 8815.
Nontaxable qualified state tuition program earnings.
Nontaxable earnings from a Coverdell education savings accounts.
Any reimbursements you received for these expenses that were not reported to you in box 1 of your W-2.
For more details, use TeleTax topic 458 1-800-829-4477. Or see Pub. 529.