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Back to School Educator Deductions

If you are an eligible educator, you may deduct up to $300 from trade or business expenses. Joint return filers who are both educators may deduct up to $300 per spouse.

You may qualify for this deduction if you work as a teacher, counselor, principal or aide for grades K-12 in a public or private school. You generally must work at the school for at least 900 hours during the school year.

Eligible classroom expenses include:

  • Books, supplies and materials that you purchase for classroom use
  • Classroom equipment, including computers, peripherals and software
  • Items such as hand sanitizer and masks purchased to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Tuition and fees for professional development courses may also qualify for the Educator Expense Deduction. However, you may get a larger tax benefit by claiming the Lifelong Learning Credit or a different deduction for these costs.