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Education Expenses Tax Deductions

Education Expenses Tax Deductions

| December 21, 2021

Teachers, did you know?
You may be able to deduct out-of-pocket expenses when you file your tax return!

That's right! The Educator Expense Tax Deduction can offer you some financial relief… When it comes to making sure students have the tools for successful learning, school teachers often spend money out of their own pockets to pay for classroom materials. Fortunately, the IRS acknowledges that doing this all year long can add up fast.

The good news is that school employees can deduct up to $250 of out-of-pocket expenses. You may be able to deduct some out-of-pocket classroom expenses, including COVID-19 protective items.


So how do you know if you qualify for Educator Expense Tax Deductions? A school employee qualifies for these tax deductions if they:

  • Teach any grade from kindergarten through the twelfth grade
  • Are a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide
  • Work at least 900 hours during the school year
  • Work in a school that provides elementary or secondary education

It’s important to note, the first requirement prevents college or other post-secondary teachers from claiming the deduction, while the second means homeschooling parents aren’t eligible.


So what items can you deduct? Examples of items eligible for the Educator Expense Deduction include:

  • Professional development courses
  • Books
  • Supplies
  • Computer equipment including software and services
  • Supplementary materials
  • Athletic supplies for health and physical education

Remember! You can deduct classroom expenses only if you haven’t received reimbursement for them. If a school, teachers union, parent-teacher association or someone else paid you back for the money you spent on classroom materials, then you can’t deduct it.


You can also deduct personal protective equipment (PPE), disinfectant, and other supplies used for the prevention of the spread of coronavirus, such as:

  • Face masks
  • Disinfectant for use against COVID-19
  • Hand soap
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disposable gloves
  • Tape, paint or chalk to guide social distancing
  • Physical barriers, such as clear plexiglass
  • Air purifiers
  • Other items recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be used for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19

You can claim the Educator Expense Deduction regardless of whether you take the standard deduction or itemize your tax deductions. The maximum you can deduct is $250 per tax year. However, that amount isn’t necessarily limited to $250. Expenses in excess of $250 can count as “unreimbursed employee expenses.” So, be sure to keep records, like receipts, and other documents that support the deduction with other tax documents.


CONTACT US to see how much of your expenses can be deducted from your bottom line.




None of the information in this document should be considered as tax advice. You should consult your tax professional for information concerning your individual situation. Tax services are not offered through, or supervised by, The Lincoln Investment Companies.