(The Hill) – When the school year began, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) told educators that they could deduct up to $300 from out-of-pocket classroom expenses, the first increase in two decades.
The increase in the special educator expense deduction is the first since it was enacted in 2002 with an annual limit of $250, and the IRS said in a release this month that it will continue to increase in $50 increments to adjust for inflation.
Eligible taxpayers include kindergarten through 12th grade teachers, instructors, principals or aides, including those working in public and private schools.
Educators can still claim savings when purchasing classroom fees if they take the standard deduction. The increase applies to expenses incurred earlier this year, meaning educators can claim the deduction when filing next year’s return.
The reduction may apply to a number of items used in the classroom, including books, supplies, equipment, software, face masks and other COVID-19 protective items. Home school fees or for nonathletic supplies in health and physical education courses are not covered.
Educators can also deduct the costs they incur for professional development courses related to their curriculum.
“But the IRS cautions that, for these expenses, it may be more beneficial to claim other education tax benefits, particularly the lifetime learning credit,” the agency said in the release.
increased savings for educators comes as the country faces the annual inflation rate has just recently started to feel comfortable after hitting the top roughly 40 years.
But annual price gains remained elevated at 8.5 percent in July, driven by the fall in gas prices in recent days. Core inflation, which excludes the volatile categories of food and energy, remained flat at 5.9 percent in July.
“Founding our full school means full funding of school supplies,” National Education Association tweeted earlier this month. “Teachers should not pay out of pocket for paper, books, pencils and everything else students need to learn.”