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Our Position & Actions On Educator Tax Relief

Teacher Tax Deduction Eligibility Requirements

Under the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, "eligible educators" are entitled to an above-the-line deduction of up to $250 per year for the 2006 and 2007 tax years concerning "qualified expenses." You can deduct these "qualified expenses" even if you do not itemize deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040).

Because 2006 IRS forms were printed before the deduction was extended, there is not a separate line for the deduction on the 1040 form this year. See instructions on how to claim the deduction  on your Form 1040. 

An "eligible educator" is an individual who works at least 900 hours during a school year in a school that provides elementary or secondary education, as determined under state law, and is a kindergarten through grade 12:

  • Teacher,
  • Instructor,
  • Counselor,
  • Principal, or
  • Aide.

"Qualified expenses" are unreimbursed expenses paid or incurred for books, supplies, computer equipment (including related software and services), other equipment, and supplementary materials that you use in the classroom.

For courses in health and physical education, expenses for supplies are considered "qualified expenses" only if they are related to athletics.