Eligible educators can deduct up to $250 of qualified expenses paid in 2018 when they file this year’s tax returns. Eligible educators include K-12 teachers and counselors who worked at least 900 hours in a school that provides elementary or secondary education, as determined by state law.
If you and your spouse are filing jointly and both of you were eligible educators, the maximum deduction is $500. Qualified expenses include ordinary and necessary costs for books, supplies, equipment (including computers, software, and services), and other classroom materials, as well as professional development related to your curriculum or the students you teach.
An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your educational field. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your profession as an educator. An expense doesn’t have to be required to be considered necessary.
For further information, consult your tax preparer or IRS Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions.