The work of an educator is never-ending; teachers lay the groundwork for future generations and help cultivate the dreams and aspirations of our students. Because of their hard work, Liberty Tax will offer free tax preparation to teachers and school employees, including bus drivers, from February 22 – February 28, 2015.
Before heading to our offices, you may want to gather your paperwork to make sure your tax preparation goes as smoothly as possible. This checklist tells you what you’ll need to bring.
Due to the tax extenders approved late last year, educators still can deduct classroom supplies on their taxes. Below are a few other tax deductions educators may qualify for, too.
Deductible Educator Expenses
Classroom supplies: For K-12 teachers working more than 900 hours in a school year, qualifying classroom expenses of up to $250 can be deducted. If married and both spouses are educators, this deduction changes to $500 ($250 maximum for each spouse) and includes supplies such as books and computer software. If you are an educator and your spouse is not, your maximum deduction is $250.
Union dues: Post-tax membership fees paid to a teacher union can be deducted.
School donations: Out-of-pocket donations made to a school, including monetary gifts or physical gifts, such as books donated to the school library, are tax deductible.
Work-related education and books: You may qualify for a deduction if you are taking work-related courses that are required by your employer, or are not required by your employer but improve your skillset. Your tax preparer can also see if you may qualify for other tax credits, such as the Lifetime Learning Credit. Additionally, interest on your student loans is tax deductible. So are books that you would not typically buy that support your professional development.
Tutoring services: If you are contracted to tutor through your school or other organization, you may receive a Form 1099 that lists your income. This form is needed to file your taxes. If you are not contracted, you are considered self-employed. Your income and expenses will then need to be recorded using Schedule C, which is attached to your tax return.
Tax preparation fees: We’ve got you covered there. Come to a participating Liberty Tax office anytime during the week of February 22, 2015, and, if you’re a new customer, your tax preparation will be FREE. If you miss us on those days, you can deduct your tax preparation fees on your tax return when you visit us at a later date. We’ll make sure we get that deduction for you.