As a teacher, you are entitled to as many tax breaks as possible. You should also be aware that if you spend that amount on educational expenditures, you may claim a tax deduction of up to $250. If you’re married to another teacher and file a joint tax return, you may both claim the $250 deduction, bringing your total deduction to $500.
Now, before you claim that deduction, double-check that you have documentation of your expenses. Scanning receipts and storing them electronically prevents them from becoming worn and difficult to see. It’s also a good idea to have credit card bills with educator charges on them.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have to itemize your deductions on your tax return to claim a deduction for college costs. Other tax deductions do necessitate itemization. If you want to deduct the interest you spent on your mortgage, for example, you can only do so if you itemize and don’t claim the standard deduction.
However, there is an exemption for educator costs. Expenses for educators are considered above-the-line deductions. They’re also referred to as income adjustments, and they’re deducted from your gross income to arrive at your adjusted gross income, or AGI. After that, your AGI is used to determine the tax credits you are eligible for.
Contributions to a conventional IRA are another example of an above-the-line credit. Even if you don’t itemize on your tax return, you can take this deduction.
Over the course of a year, you could spend more than $250 of your own money as a teacher. If this is the case, make sure to claim at least the $250 deduction on your tax return.
Also, if supplying your classroom becomes a financial strain, don’t be afraid to approach parents for help (and if your district allows it). This is especially true if you do not work in a low-income neighborhood. If you speak out and request materials, you might be amazed at how ready parents are to send them in.