Fall is here and another school year is in full swing. Many teachers are already dipping into their own pockets to buy classroom supplies that will help set their students up for success. Doing this all year long can add up fast. Fortunately, eligible educators may be able to offset qualified expenses they paid in 2021 when they file their tax return in 2022.
Educators who work in schools may qualify to deduct up to $250 of unreimbursed expenses. That amount goes up to $500 if two qualified educators are married and file a joint return. However, neither spouse can deduct more than $250 of their qualified expenses when they file their federal tax return.
Taxpayers qualify for this deduction if they:
Teach any grade from kindergarten through twelfth grade.
Are a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide.
Work at least 900 hours during the school year.
Work in a school that provides elementary or secondary education.
Qualified expenses include:
Professional development courses.
Computer equipment including related software and services.
Athletic supplies only for health and physical education
Personal protective equipment, disinfectant, and other supplies used for the prevention of the spread of coronavirus.
Expenses for COVID-19 protective items. These items include, but are not limited to:
Disinfectant for use against COVID-19.
Tape, paint or chalk to guide social distancing.
Physical barriers, such as clear plexiglass.
Other items recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be used for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.
This deduction is for unreimbursed expenses paid or incurred during the tax year. Taxpayers should keep records, such as receipts, and other documents that support the deduction with other tax documents. Eligible taxpayers will claim the deduction on Form 1040, Form 1040-SR, or Form 1040-NR.
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service issued Announcement 2021-7 today clarifying that the purchase of personal protective equipment, such as masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of coronavirus are deductible medical expenses.
The amounts paid for personal protective equipment are also eligible to be paid or reimbursed under health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs), Archer medical savings accounts (Archer MSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), or health savings accounts (HSAs).
Employed full or part time? Unemployed? A temporary or gig worker? Retired or disabled? Receive public benefits? Have no income? Most U.S. residents – under certain income levels – will receive the Economic Impact Payment if they are not claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer and have a Social Security number.
Here’s how much the payments will be:
Eligible individuals will receive up to $1,200.
Eligible married couples will receive up to $2,400.
Eligible individuals will receive up to $500 for each qualifying child.
Taxpayers will receive a reduced payment if their adjusted gross income is between:
$75,000 and $99,000 if their filing status was single or married filing separately
$112,500 and $136,500 for head of household
$150,000 and $198,000 if their filing status was married filing jointly
Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an Economic Impact Payment.
Payments will also be automatic for people who receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), or survivor benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits who don’t normally file a tax return. Those receiving these benefits who aren’t claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return or required to file a tax return are eligible for a $1,200 payment. However, people in this group who have qualifying children under age 17 will need to provide information using the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool to claim the $500 payment per child.
The IRS encourages people to share this information with family and friends. Some people who normally don’t file a tax return may not realize they’re eligible for an Economic Impact Payment.