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From Markers to Face Masks, Classroom Supplies May be Tax Deductible


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Teachers go above and beyond for their students, often buying classroom supplies needed to make learning successful. The educator expense deduction allows eligible teachers and administrators to deduct part of the cost of technology, supplies, and training from their taxes. They can only claim this deduction for expenses that weren’t reimbursed by their employer, a grant, or other source.

back to school, school supplies, tax deductions, IRS.gov, tax tips, classroom supplies

Who is an eligible educator:

The taxpayer must be a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide. They must also work at least 900 hours a school year in a school that provides elementary or secondary education as determined under state law.

Things to know about this deduction:

Starting on tax returns for 2022, educators can deduct up to $300 of trade or business expenses that weren’t reimbursed. If two married educators are filing a joint return, the limit rises to $600. These taxpayers cannot deduct more than $300 each.

For 2021 returns, the limit is $250, or $500 for married educators filing jointly. As teachers prepare for the school year, they should remember to keep receipts after making any purchase to support claiming this deduction.

Qualified expenses are amounts the taxpayer paid themselves during the tax year.

Here are some of the expenses an educator can deduct:

  • Professional development course fees
  • Books and supplies
  • COVID-19 protective items to stop the spread of the disease in the classroom
  • Computer equipment, including related software and services
  • Other equipment and materials used in the classroom

More information:

Topic Number 458, Educator Expense Deduction
Publication 5349, Tax Planning is for Everyone 

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