Optima Tax Relief Details Max Educator Expense Deductions


For the first time ever, educators will be able deduct up to $300 of out-of-pocket expenses for their classrooms in 2022, an increase from the previous limit of $250 per year. Optima Tax Relief details who can claim these deductions and how. 


Educators who teach at the kindergarten level through 12th grade can claim this expense, even if they take the standard deduction. This also includes instructors, counselors, principals or teacher aides who work in a public or private school for a minimum of 900 hours during the school year.   


Educators can deduct the following costs, as long as they are unreimbursed: 

  • Books, supplies and materials

  • Equipment, including software

  • COVID-19 protective items, including face masks, disinfectant products, hand soap and sanitizer, disposable gloves, tape, paint or chalk used to aid social distancing, physical barriers, air purifiers and other items recommended by the CDC

  • Professional development courses that relate to the curriculum they teach 


If the taxpayer is filing Married Filing Jointly with another educator, the total amount of qualified expenses that can be deducted is $600, but not more than $300 per spouse. Taxpayers should note that this increase is for the 2022 tax year and proper records, receipts and other documentation should be kept throughout the year. Home schooling expenses and nonathletic supplies for health and physical education classes are not eligible expenses.

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