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How to claim educator expenses

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How to claim educator expenses


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 on line 23. This adjustment is entered in our program the following way:

Instructions for Direct Input Software:

  • From the form tree on the left click on 1040 Page 1, click on the Educator Espenses link for line 23 OR
  • Use the Locate search box on the top left to search for Educator Expenses OR
  • Scroll down the list of forms on the left until you find Educator Expenses 


Instruction for Interview Software:

  • Once inside the return hover your mouse over the Adjustments tab, and click on Educator Expenses OR
  • Click on the Adjustments tabs, once on the Adjustments Selections find Educator Expenses and click Start


You may be able to deduct expenses that are more than $250 (or $500) limit on Schedule A.

Eligible Educator
You are an eligible educator if, for the tax year, you meet the following requirements.

You work at least 900 hours during a school year in a school that provides elementary or secondary education, as determined under state law.

Qualified Expenses
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.

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Views: 2625 Created on: Jun 15, 2013
Date updated: Aug 06, 2015

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