For the first time since 2002, the Educator Expense Deduction has been increased from $250 per year to $300 per year. This deduction allows educators to take an above-the-line income tax deduction for out-of-pocket, or in other words unreimbursed, classroom expenses paid during the 2022 tax year. Married couples who are both educators are eligible to deduct $300 each, or up to $600 total for the year, provided each spouse spent at least $300 on unreimbursed classroom materials.
Eligible educators include anyone who is a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aid for either a public or private school. They also must work at least 900 hours during the school year to qualify which may disallow the deduction for some part-time teachers, teachers who share a contract, and/or those who are substitute teaching and are unable to meet the hour requirement.
The $300 deduction is reported as an adjustment to income taxes, sometimes called an above-the-line deduction, meaning educators are eligible to claim the deduction even if they do not itemize their deductions and instead use the Standard Deduction. As with any deduction, it is important to keep good records to document and substantiate the expenses in case of an audit.