2009-09-03 / Local & State

Educators Should Save Receipts For Tax Break

As summer comes to an end, many teachers and educators are preparing for the start of the new school year. That preparation may include purchasing items for the classroom from personal funds. "I want to remind teachers and educators to save their receipts for purchases of books and other classroom supplies," said IRS spokesperson David Stewart. "These out-of-pocket expenses may be deductible and lower their 2009 taxes."

The deduction is available to eligible educators (kindergarten through grade 12) in public or private elementary or secondary schools. To be eligible, a person must work at least 900 hours during a school year as a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide.

Educators may subtract up to $250 of qualified out-of-pocket expenses when figuring their adjusted gross income (AGI). This deduction is available whether or not the taxpayer itemizes deductions on Schedule A.

Qualified expenses are nonreimbursed expenses paid or incurred for books, supplies, computer equipment including related software and services, other equipment, and supplementary materials that are used in the classroom.

For more information, go to the IRS Web site at IRS.gov.

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