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Teachers encouraged to write off expenses, but is it enough?

Educators are encouraged to write off up to $300 in their annual taxes, but is that enough to cover most expenses?
Teachers encouraged to write off expenses, but is it enough?
Posted at 2:27 PM, Aug 17, 2023

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding educators that they can write off up to $300 in unreimbursed expenses for the classroom. While the amount is not considered a credit, it does allow teachers to reduce their taxable income, knocking a few dollars off their annual tax bill. 

The IRS said the following items are among those teachers can claim:

- Books, supplies and other materials used in the classroom

- Equipment, including computer equipment, software and services

- COVID-19 protective items (hand sanitizer and disposable gloves)

- Professional development courses related to the curriculum they teach or the students they teach

Eligible educators include teachers, principals, aides and instructors who spend 900 hours a year in the classroom. While public and private school teachers are eligible, home school parents are not. 

SEE MORE: These businesses offer teachers back-to-school discounts

"As with all deductions and credits, the IRS reminds educators to keep good records, including receipts, canceled checks and other documentation," the IRS said. 

2023 marks the second year in a row the deduction is $300. The amount could go up in $50 increments in future years based on inflation. 

But it seems for the average teacher, $300 would not be enough to cover most expenses.

According to a survey by My eLearning World, the average teacher spent $820 during the 2022-2023 school year on classroom supplies. The money spent on classrooms is split between consumable supplies such as pencils, decorations, books, software and other school necessities. 

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