Tax Deductions for Educator, Teacher Expenses

When you prepare and efile your federal income taxes on, you might be eligible to deduct up to $250 of any un-reimbursed expenses as a trade, school, or business. 

If you and your spouse are both educators, teachers, etc and your filing status is Married Filing Jointly, you might be eligible to deduct up to a maximum of $500. 

When Am I An Eligible Educator?

You are an eligible educator if you educate or teach at least 900 hours in a school year in a kindergarten or school that provides elementary or secondary education (as recognized under state law) through grade 12 as one of the following educator or teaching professions:

  • Principal
  • Counselor
  • Instructor
  • Teacher
  • Teacher's Aide

What Are Qualified Educator or Teacher Expenses?

The following expenses are considered deductible expenses: 

  • Paid or incurred fees for teaching materials (books, classroom supplies, computer equipment, software, services, etc.)
  • Special equipment and supplementary materials used in the classroom
  • Health and physical education courses (only if they are related to athletics)

You will be asked about these expenses during the tax interview, and then we will help you report them on the proper form(s). Therefore, you don't have to worry about exactly where to enter these deductions.

Are There Exceptions Related to Qualified Educator Expenses? 

These expenses are only deductible to the extent that the amount of such expenses exceed the following amounts for the Tax Year:

  • The interest on qualified U.S. savings bonds excluded from income because of paid qualified higher education expenses
  • Any distribution from a qualified tuition program excluded from income
  • Any tax-free withdrawals from a Coverdell Education Savings Account
  • Any reimbursed expenses not reported on W-2, box 1

Learn more about other tax deductions you might qualify to claim on your tax return. 

Contact our support team if you have any additional questions.