Tax Deductions for Educators

teacher appreciationThe school year is almost over, and children and parents at most schools spent last week honoring the hard work and dedication of our educators with homemade gifts and treats. The work of a teacher never ends so this recognition is well deserved. One week is far from enough to thank them for what they do!                    

Sure… restaurants and other department stores offer discounts for the week, but wouldn’t a reduction in taxes owed for all you teachers out there be a real treat?   

You scramble each school year to provide books and other supplies to students, which can be stressful on your pockets. There are tax deductions and credits available to you that are often overlooked.   

If you missed them this year, read my last blog on filing an amendment or be sure to take advantage of them on your next year’s return!    

  • Educator Expenses. For K-12 educators who have worked at least 900 hours during the school year, this deduction allows you to claim up to $250 of classroom expenses.
  • Charitable Donations. Did you give a monetary gift to your school’s PTO or purchase dictionaries for the school library? Any out-of-pocket donation that you made directly to your school is tax deductible! 
  • Tutoring. Some parents pay teachers to tutor their children after school or on the weekends. What does this mean if you are the tutor?  Technically, you are self-employed so traveling expenses and teaching supplies would be tax deductible.  
  • Continuing Education. If you went back to school recently and are taking work-related courses, you may qualify for the Lifetime Learning Credit. This credit is only available to teachers who have paid for courses out-of-pocket.  
  • Student Loan Interest & Loan Forgiveness. So you’ve gone back to school but had to take out loans. You can deduct student loan interest paid during the year on your tax return! Some lenders have loan forgiveness for teachers so check with your lender to see if you are eligible! 
  • Teacher Union Dues. Teachers who belong to unions can deduct union dues in which taxes have been paid. 
  • Teacher Travel. Unreimbursed travel can be deducted on your return for things such as out-of-town conferences. 
  • Professional Books & Publications. Books that support your professional development that you wouldn’t typically buy can be tax deductible.    

Keep in mind that you may need to file additional forms or meet certain requirements to receive these deductions and credits. Stop into your local Liberty Tax office for more information, or check the IRS website for eligibility details.   

To our teachers, Liberty Tax appreciates you! 

  

Posted To: Tax Mommy's Blog By: Stephanie Brenneman On: Friday, May 10, 2013
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