Teachers can deduct some classroom-related expenses

The tax code offers deductions for people who spend money on their businesses and jobs, and the Internal Revenue Service is reminding people that teachers are among those who may be eligible for such benefits.

According to the IRS Web site, educators who are taxpayers can receive a $250 deduction for expenses incurred on out-of-pocket expenses for their classrooms. Amounts over $250 may be claimed on Schedule A. Qualified expenditures include books and school supplies, as well as computer equipment and classroom supplementary materials.

The benefit applies to teachers who worked at least 900 hours in a school year, as well as to principals, teachers'' aides, counselors and instructors. The IRS noted that in 2005, education professionals deducted about $893 million worth of out-of-pocket classroom expenses.

As is the case with most deductions, teachers should save all receipts for any classroom-related expenditures they do make.

While the tax code helps teachers who use their own money to help students learn, there are also a number of benefits that apply to parents and students who are working to cover their own educational expenses. With that in mind, consulting with a tax preparer is always an advisable way to be sure no deductions or credits are being missed.

Liberty Tax Service provides computerized income tax preparation and electronic filing. Each tax office offers customers audit assistance, a money back guarantee, and free tax return checking.