How to claim the 2023 Educator Expense Deduction

Teachers who spend a significant amount of their money on classroom needs can recover some of it at tax time.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, people who qualify as educators can deduct up to $300 of unreimbursed trade or business expenses. Married educators filing jointly can deduct up to $600 or $300 each. The expenses that qualify include costs incurred for professional development, books, supplies, computer equipment, software, other equipment, and supplementary materials that are used in the classroom. In cases of courses related to health or physical education, expenses for supplies should be limited to athletic supplies only. Supplies utilized to prevent the spread of coronavirus like personal protective equipment, and disinfectant are included. This deduction applies only to expenses paid or incurred during the tax year.

To claim the deduction, one should utilize Form 1040, Form 1040-SR, or Form 1040-NR, with Schedule 1 (Form 1040). Often self-service tax preparation software will walk you through this process when you input your profession. If not you may have to do it manually.

To be considered an eligible educator, one must have worked for at least 900 hours a school year as a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide in a school that offers elementary or secondary education, as determined under state law, within the tax year.

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