Back-to-School Means Tax Deduction Time for Teachers

The new school year brings some welcome news for teachers. A popular and well-deserved deduction of $250 allowed for those who spend their personal money on classroom supplies was advantageously updated by the 2015 PATH Act.  The Act made the deduction permanent, tied it to inflation, and it now also covers personal money paid for professional development.

Married taxpayers filing jointly who are both eligible educators may each claim up to the maximum deduction of $500.

Keep those receipts! The rest of the unreimbursed educator expenses that exceed the $250/teacher ceiling may possibly be claimed as miscellaneous itemized deductions subject to the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income (AGI) floor.

Of course there are rules and restrictions: An eligible educator must be a kindergarten through 12th-grade "teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide" in a public or private elementary or secondary school. For more information, consult with your tax provider.

Guest blogger Amy Sigurdson contributed this article. Amy is a Tax Associate at Gilmore Jasion Mahler.

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