Arena and Associates, Inc. – Rob Arena – Tax Saving Tips for Teachers

This month, teachers shall bid farewell to the lazy days of summer and embark on a new school year. If months continue to fly by like that, the next thing we know it’s the holiday season once again and tax time right after that. That said, you should start planning for your tax deductions.

In this blog post, we’ll help you find deductions that you may have overlooked in the past so you can get back as much money as possible.

Classroom supplies

Most teachers would purchase supplies for their classrooms out of their own pockets. It’s amazing how small purchases can quickly add up, and can put a hole in your household budget. The good news is that you deduct these expenses to help reduce your taxes.

Back in the days, teachers were allowed to deduct up to $250 for unreimbursed classroom-related expenses each year. Unfortunately, this law has expired in 2013. Don’t worry; you can still deduct the cost of the supplies you purchased as unreimbursed employee expense. That said, it is important to keep all of your receipts or credit card statements and compile them in an envelope.

Continuing education expenses

Teachers and educators, who take courses to keep up their competency, may qualify for the Lifetime Learning Credit. Here, teachers are given 20% tax credit off the cost of courses taken up to a maximum of $2,000 per educator per year.

Costs incurred in attending trainings, workshops, conferences and seminars are also tax-deductible, provided that they are work-related.

Travel-related deductions

If you are a teacher, who travels from school to school or a coach, who oversee after-school activities outside the campus, be sure to keep track of your travel expenses. If you itemize your deductions, you can deduct $0.57 a mile for all business miles driven.

Professional expenses you incur for teaching

If you are a teacher, who has spent your own money for professional books, union dues and any other expense that are related to your profession, be sure to keep track of them and claim the costs on your taxes as a deduction.