Tax Deductions for Teachers 2022 | Expenses 2021

Update on the teacher tax deduction for 2022 for 2021 tax year. A teacher’s guide to the educator expense deduction.

Overview of the Educator Expense Deduction

If you are a teacher, generally, you can claim the educator expense deduction if you have paid for classroom supplies and other materials from your own pocket during the tax year. It is an important tax break for teachers. Here is an general overview of the deduction.


Qualifying Criteria

You must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the Educator Expense Deduction:
• You were a teacher, counselor, principal, or aide to students from kindergarten through 12th grades.
• You worked at least 900 hours in a school that is state-certified to offer elementary or secondary education. This is applicable to all public and private schools, as well as religious schools.
• You spent money on qualified educator expenses.


Qualifying Educator Expenses

Here are just a few examples of items that can be deducted for the Educator Expense Deduction
• school supplies
• books
• Computer equipment (webcams and headsets) and software
• Athletic equipment for physical education teachers
• Generally, any item purchased that is suitable for the classroom and useful to students.

Only if you don’t receive reimbursement for classroom expenses, can you deduct them. You cannot deduct classroom expenses if you have received reimbursement from a school, teacher union, parent-teacher association, or another entity for the cost of materials.


COVID-19-related Expenses

The Educator Expense Deduction allows for deductions of

  • personal protective equipment or PPE
  • sanitizers
  • disinfectants
  • other supplies used for the prevention of the spread of coronavirus


Claiming Tax Deductions

Teachers may claim the Educator Expense Deduction, regardless of whether they itemize or take the standard deduction.
* Teachers can deduct up to $250.
* A joint return filed by two married teachers can be deducted up to $250 each, with a maximum amount of $500.

Note: In 2022, the amount will increase from $250 to $300 for single taxpayers.  In 2022, qualifying teachers can claim $300 for expenses paid or incurred for books, supplies, computer equipment (including software and services) and other equipment, and supplementary materials used in the classroom.


Reducing your Educator Expense Deduction

In certain situations, your Educator Expense deduction may need to be reduced. The IRS requires that you subtract the following from the deduction:
• Interest on U.S. savings bond interest that you were eligible to receive tax-free as you used the money for higher education expenses.
• Distributions from 529 Plans that you did not have to declare as taxable income.
• Withdraw tax-free from Coverdell education savings account
• reimbursements you receive for expenses that aren’t reported to you in box 1 of your Form W-2

Keep Track of your Expenses

Keep good records of all classroom expenses to claim your tax-deductible expenses as an educator.
• Keep your receipts separate from your other receipts.
• Record all eligible purchases in an appointment planner or book.

This has been a general overview of the deduction. Be sure to consult your own tax advisor regarding your own situation.

Here is the page in the 1040 instructions.

Adjustments to Income Line 11 Educator Expenses
Adjustments to Income Line 11 Educator Expenses



This material has been prepared for educational and general informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors regarding your own situation.

Categories Taxes

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