Educator Expense Deduction - Teacher

If you are an eligible educator, you can deduct up to $250 ($500 if married filing joint and both spouses are educators, but not more than $250 each) of any unreimbursed expenses [otherwise deductible as a trade or business expense] you paid or incurred for books, supplies, computer equipment (including related software and services), other equipment, and supplementary materials that you use in the classroom.

For courses in health and physical education, expenses for supplies are qualified expenses only if they are related to athletics. This deduction is for expenses paid or incurred during the tax year. The deduction is claimed on Line 10 of Schedule 1 (Form 1040) Additional Income and Adjustments to Income.

You are an eligible educator if, for the tax year, you meet the following requirements:

  • You are a K-12 Teacher, Instructor, Counselor, 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. Qualified expenses are deductible only to the extent the amount of such expenses exceeds the following amounts for the tax year:
    • 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, or
    • Any tax-free withdrawals from your Coverdell Education Savings Account.

For additional information regarding personal credits and any alternative minimum tax (AMT), refer to IRS Publication 17 Your Federal Income Tax.

To enter education expenses in the TaxAct® program:

  1. From within your TaxAct return (Online or Desktop), click Federal. On smaller devices, click in the upper left-hand corner, then click Federal.
  2. Click Other Adjustments in the Federal Quick Q&A Topics menu to expand, then click Educator expense deduction.
  3. Enter the qualified expenses, then continue with the interview process to enter all of the appropriate information.

Note that any link in the information above is updated each year automatically and will take you to the most recent version of the document at the time it is accessed.