If you are a teacher or an educator, you can save up to $250 on school supplies. If you are married filing jointly, and you and your spouse can save up to $500. You can deduct expenditures such as books, computer equipment, school supplies, educational software, and material that you use in classroom. If you are a physical educator, you can only deduct expenses related to athletics. Expenses on home schooling, however, cannot be deducted.
To ensure that you qualify for this deduction, make sure that you meet the following requirements:
- You are a teacher (kindergarten through grade 12)
- Principal, or
- Aide, and
- You work at least 900 hours a school year in a school that provides elementary or secondary education, as determined under state law.
According to IRS.gov, you can only deduct expenses if they do not exceed:
- “The interest on qualified U.S. savings bonds that you excluded from income because you paid qualified higher education expenses
- Any distribution from a qualified tuition program that you excluded from income
- Any tax-free withdrawals from your Coverdell Education Savings Account, or
- Any reimbursed expenses not reported to you on your Form W-2, box 1.”
The deduction can be made on Form 1040 line 23 or on Form 1040A line 16, which means that you do not need to itemize to claim this deduction. You can deduct the amount from your income, which will automatically bring down your taxable income. Due to the ease of claiming this deduction, it’s a recommended and simple way to save on taxes.