Filing season reminder for teachers: Some educator expenses may be tax deductible

COVID Tax Tip 2022-30, February 24, 2022

The educator expense deduction allows eligible teachers and administrators to deduct part of the cost of technology, supplies and training from their taxes. They can only claim this deduction for expenses that were not reimbursed by their employer, a grant or other source.

Who is an eligible educator

The taxpayer must be a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide. They must also work at least 900 hours a school year in a school that provides elementary or secondary education as determined under state law.

Things to know about this deduction

Educators can deduct up to $250 of trade or business expenses that were not reimbursed. As taxpayers prepare to file, they should remember to keep receipts after making any purchase to support claiming this deduction with their tax records.

The deduction is $500 if both taxpayers are eligible educators and file their return using the status married filing jointly. These taxpayers cannot deduct more than $250 each. Qualified expenses are the amounts the taxpayer paid with their own funds during the tax year.

Here are some of the expenses an educator can deduct:

  • Professional development course fees
  • Books
  • Supplies
  • Computer equipment, including related software and services
  • Other equipment and materials used in the classroom
  • Personal protective equipment, disinfectant, and other supplies used for the prevention of the spread of coronavirus

Expenses for COVID-19 protective items

These items include, but are not limited to:

  • Face masks
  • Disinfectant for use against COVID-19
  • Hand soap
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disposable gloves
  • Tape, paint, or chalk to guide social distancing
  • Physical barriers, such as clear plexiglass
  • Air purifiers
  • Other items recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be used for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19

This deduction is for unreimbursed expenses paid or incurred during the 2021 tax year. Taxpayers should keep records, such as receipts and other documents that support the deduction with other tax documents. Eligible taxpayers will claim the deduction on Form 1040Form 1040-SR or Form 1040-NR, attaching Schedule 1, Additional Income and Adjustments to IncomePDF

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