The IRS reminded educators that they will be able to deduct up to $300 of out-of-pocket classroom expenses when they file their federal income tax return for tax year 2022. This is the first time the annual limit has increased since 2002. For tax years 2002 through 2021, the limit was $250 per year. The limit will rise in $50 increments in future years based on inflation adjustments. For 2022, if an eligible educator is married and files a joint return with another eligible educator, the limit rises to $600 but not more than $300 for each spouse.

Educators can claim this deduction even if they take the standard deduction. Eligible educators include anyone who is a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide in a school for at least 900 hours during the school year. Both public- and private-school educators qualify. Educators can deduct the unreimbursed cost of:

  • books, supplies, and other materials used in the classroom;
  • equipment, including computer equipment, software, and services;
  • COVID-19 protective items to stop the spread of the disease in the classroom; and
  • professional development courses related to the curriculum they teach or the students they teach.

Qualified expenses do not include expenses for homeschooling or nonathletic supplies for courses in health or physical education. The IRS also reminded educators that for tax year 2021, the deduction limit is $250. If they are married and file a joint return with another eligible educator, the limit rises to $500 but not more than $250 for each spouse.