IRS increases what teachers can deduct for classroom expenses for 2022

As the school year begins, the IRS is telling educators that they can deduct up to $300 of out-of-pocket classroom expenses, the first increase in two decades.

The special educator expense deduction increase is the first since it was enacted in 2002 with a $250 annual limit, and the IRS said in a release this month it will continue to rise in $50 increments to adjust for inflation.

Any kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, principal or aide at a public or private school is eligible.

Educators can still claim the savings when they purchase classroom expenses if they take the standard deduction. The increase applies to expenses incurred beginning this year, meaning educators can claim the deduction when they file their returns next year.

The deduction can apply to a range of items used in classrooms, including books, supplies, equipment, software, face masks and other COVID-19 protective items. The cost of home schooling or nonathletic supplies in health and physical education courses will not be covered.

Educators can also deduct the costs they incur for professional development courses related to their curriculum.