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Educators Can Deduct Up to $300 in Out-of-Pocket Classroom Expenses in 2022

For 2022, the maximum expense deduction eligible educators may take for qualifying out-of-pocket classroom expenses has increased to $300, even if they take the standard deduction. Educators who are married and file a joint return with another eligible educator can deduct up to $600 (but no more than $300 for each spouse).

This is the first time the educator expense deduction has increased since it was enacted in 2002, at $250. The IRS said the limit will rise in $50 increments in future years, based on inflation adjustments. However, note that, due to the way the inflation adjustment is computed, multiple years may pass before an increase occurs.

Eligible educators include anyone who is a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, aide, counselor, or principal in a private or public school for at least 900 hours during the school year.

Qualified expenses include the unreimbursed cost of:

  • Books, supplies, and other classroom materials
  • Equipment, including computer equipment, software, and services
  • COVID-19 prevention items, including face masks, disinfectant, hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, air purifiers, etc.

The cost of professional development courses related to the curriculum or students the educator teaches is also considered a qualified expense; however, the IRS notes that it may be more beneficial to claim another educational tax benefit, such as the lifetime learning credit. See Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, particularly Chapter 3.

Qualified expenses do not include:

  • Costs related to homeschooling
  • Expenses related to nonathletic supplies for courses in health or physical education

Note that the $300 maximum educator expense deduction is for 2022 tax returns. The $250 limit must be used for 2021 and prior tax returns.

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Clergy Financial Resources serves as a resource for clients to help analyze the complexity of clergy tax law, church payroll & HR issues. Our professionals are committed to helping clients stay informed about tax news, developments and trends in various specialty areas.

This article is intended to provide readers with guidance in tax matters. The article does not constitute, and should not be treated as professional advice regarding the use of any particular tax technique. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information. Clergy Financial Resources and the author do not assume responsibility for any individual’s reliance upon the information provided in the article. Readers should independently verify all information before applying it to a particular fact situation, and should independently determine the impact of any particular tax planning technique. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney.

For more information or if you need additional assistance, please use the contact information below.

Clergy Financial Resources
11214 86th Avenue N.
Maple Grove, MN 55369

Tel: (763) 425-8778 
Fax: (888) 876-5101
Email: clientservices@clergyfinancial.com

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