Enjoy a more robust refund this year with STEM Jobs’ rundown of teacher tax deductions.

Tax season is in full swing and April 18 is almost here. That is correct, in 2016 U.S. taxpayers have a few extra days to file, but don’t waste another moment – it’s time to finish up those returns!

Sure, landing that STEM-teacher grant would be helpful, but the competition is tough, and many teachers end up paying for supplies and materials out of their own pockets. Before hitting the button on Turbo Tax or giving the go-ahead to an accountant, be certain to look under every Internal Revenue Service stone for deductions that could offer a higher refund. Receive your well-deserved refund by looking through STEM Jobs’ list and including these tax deductions for teachers on your 2015 returns.

Teacher tax deductions

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Return from Non-Reimbursement

The Educator Expense Deduction is the standard teacher tax deduction that kindergarten through 12th-grade educators can use for reimbursement of supplies, such as books, computer equipment, and supplementary materials. The $250 per person limit is also afforded to married couples who file jointly if both spouses are educators. The $500 married educators household cap limits each individual to  $250, but it’s still extremely helpful. Certain circumstances exist that would force teachers to reduce their deduction, therefore read all the fine print before submitting taxes.

Unite to Deduct

If an educator chooses to itemize his or her teacher tax deductions, the IRS permits exceeding the $250 limit for miscellaneous expenses that have not been reimbursed. These expenses include union dues, but the deduction still returns only a portion of the total. The IRS formula for calculating this teacher tax deduction requires two percent of an educator’s income to be deducted from the total of miscellaneous expenses. This figure is the deduction amount that can be submitted when using itemized miscellaneous expenses as tax deductions for teachers.

Earn From Learning

Teaching isn’t a one and done sort of job when it comes to an educator’s own education. As school districts, state, and federal governments change requirements, teachers must always learn new methods for approaching and teaching the latest curriculum. As education is required for teachers to continue working within their current job, this is considered qualified work-related education. When teachers bear the financial burden of required continuing education by digging into their own pockets, they can use this deduction if the training:

  • is necessary to continue working in a current position and retain present salary.
  • serves an aim for the employer.
  • doesn’t prepare the teacher for work in a new field or career.

Educators give so much of themselves throughout the year. By using all possible tax deductions for teachers, instructors can regain some of the financial support they provide from their own pockets.

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