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Teachers Should Save Receipts for Educator Expense Deduction

IR-2005-82, Aug. 16, 2005

WASHINGTON — With back-to-school sales in full swing, the Internal Revenue Service reminds teachers and other educators to save their receipts for purchases of books and classroom supplies. These out-of-pocket expenses may lower their 2005 taxes.

The deduction is available to eligible educators in public or private elementary or secondary schools. To be eligible, a person must work at least 900 hours during a school year as a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide.

Educators may subtract up to $250 of qualified expenses when figuring their adjusted gross income (AGI) for 2005. This deduction is available whether or not the taxpayer itemizes deductions on Schedule A.

The IRS suggests that educators keep records of qualifying expenses in a folder or envelope with a label such as, “Educator Expense Deduction,” noting the date, amount and purpose of each purchase. This will help prevent a missed deduction at tax time.

Under current law, this deduction is scheduled to expire at the end of 2005. In tax year 2003, the most recent year for which figures are available, educator expense deductions totaling almost $814 million were claimed on nearly 3.3 million individual income tax returns.

For more information, see Topic 458 or call the IRS Tele-Tax system toll-free at 1-800-829-4477 and listen to Topic 458.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 18-Aug-2012