Tax Deductions for Teachers
Although taxes may not be on the minds of most teachers and administrators this early in the school year, knowing which expenses to keep track of can actually end up saving them a significant amount of money when tax season does roll around. In fact, there are a number of major work-related tax deductions that are available to teachers, so if you are an educator or a school administrator, you should consider contacting an experienced tax attorney who can help you make the most of these tax breaks.
Educator Expense Deductions
Although teachers do have budgets, they are often forced to pay out of pocket for certain work-related expenses, such as classroom supplies and additional training. Fortunately, many of these expenses qualify for special tax deductions. For example, educators can deduct up to $250 under the Educator Expense Deduction for unreimbursed business expenses. This is true even for teachers who do not itemize their deductions, as long as the taxpayer is a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, principal, aide, instructor, or counselor for at least 900 hours per school year. Those who qualify may be able to deduct the cost of books, computer equipment, supplies, and supplementary materials.
When a teacher has qualifying expenses that exceed the $250 limit, the IRS allows him or her to claim those expenses as a miscellaneous deduction on a Schedule A form. In fact, teachers can even claim work-related expenses, such as the cost of professional licenses and union dues. However, miscellaneous deductions are subject to a two percent limit, which means that taxpayers must subtract two percent of their gross income from the total deduction amount.
Some teachers are also able to take advantage of an education tax benefit for all ongoing educational pursuits. Students enrolled in eligible educational institutions, for example, can use the Lifetime Learning Credit to obtain deductions for tuition and related expenses. This credit is worth up to $2,000 per tax return and can be used to help pay for undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree classes.
Keeping Accurate Expense Records
Keeping detailed records of work-related expenses is critical when attempting to take advantage of tax deductions. This includes noting the date, purpose, and amount of each purchase, all of which can help ensure that the taxpayer does not miss out on any savings. It’s also a good idea to keep a copy of tax returns for at least three years.
Call Today to Speak with an Experienced Tax Attorney
If you are an educator, school administrator, or teacher’s aide, you may qualify for important tax deductions. To ensure that you don’t miss out on these savings, please call us at 386-490-9949 today to schedule a free consultation with dedicated Florida tax attorney Ronald Cutler, P.A. We understand that you lead a busy life and may not be able to meet during the week, so we make ourselves available to our clients on weekends to ensure that they receive the one-on-one, personalized attention that they deserve.