The new norm of 2020 has led to many of us creating a classroom environment in our homes. Since March, you may have found yourself teaching subjects to your child, purchasing classroom materials, computers, and supplies out of pocket. These expenses may have you wondering if you are eligible for the Educator Expense Deduction. Let’s look at the rules of what and who is eligible.
What is a qualified educator expense?
The money spent on supplies such as crayons, books, computers, and computer software are allowable educator expenses. These expenses should be ordinary and necessary as defined by Publication 529. In fact, the publication states “an expense doesn’t have to be required to be considered necessary”.
Who can claim educator expenses?
Though you might be feeling the pressures of an educator while teaching your children at home, in the eyes of the IRS you are not an educator. A teacher who can claim the educator expense must meet the following requirements:
- Work in a program for grades kindergarten to grade 12
- Work as a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide
- Employed for at least 900 hours during a school year
If you meet those requirements you are eligible to deduct up to $250 of eligible expenses. Two educators who are married and filing jointly can claim up to $250 each person for a total of $500.
What if you homeschool your children all year round?
Homeschooling does not meet the requirements for the Educator Expense Deduction. Moreover, if you work in a preschool environment or beyond high school year 12 education you would not be eligible for this deduction.
Let Bright Tax Solutions FL help you navigate during this new norm. Don’t worry about knowing all the tax rules and implications. If you have a question like this, submit it in our comments so we can cover the topic. Contact the team at Bright Tax to help you navigate through your tax preparation and planning. Our team of licensed tax professionals are ready to help with your specific tax needs.