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Sunday September 25, 2022

Washington News

Washington Hotline

Good News For Teachers

It has been a challenging two years for public and private school teachers. Many classrooms were locked down and students had to adjust to online learning. This was a difficult time for both teachers and students. Fortunately, nearly all students have now returned to the classroom.

In IR-2022-70, the Internal Revenue Service reminded teachers that there is an expanded above-the-line deduction for year 2022. The teacher out-of-pocket classroom expense deduction increases from $250 to $300 this year.

For years 2002 through 2021, the educator expense deduction limit was $250 per year. For educators who are filing their 2021 tax return prior to April 18 of this year, the deduction limit is $250.

However, the deduction will be $300 for 2022 and will increase in $50 increments in future years based on inflation. For two eligible educators who are married, the deduction limit is $600, but the maximum for each individual is $300.

The educator expense deduction is available for teachers, counselors, principals or aides in classes from kindergarten through grade 12. They must be involved in education activity for at least 900 hours each year.

The educator expense deduction is available for multiple purposes.

1. Books and Supplies - Materials used in the classroom such as books, writing instruments, tablets and other teaching items are generally deductible.

2. Equipment - Many teachers need desktop computers, laptops, software and related services.

3. COVID-19 Protection - Face masks, disinfectant, hand soap, hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, physical barriers and other items recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are deductible.

4. Professional Courses - If an educator requires additional training related to the curriculum he or she teaches, this is a qualified deduction.

5. Expense Limits - There are limitations on the deduction. Home schooling or nonathletic supplies for health or physical education courses do not qualify.

Editor's Note: The IRS reminds taxpayers who are completing their 2021 return that the limit is $250. Married eligible educators may qualify for a deduction up to $500, with a limit of $250 per teacher. The IRS urges all taxpayers to file electronically to receive a prompt tax refund.

Published April 1, 2022
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