Once you’re organized, teachers, you need some tax tips for categorizing your expenses to find the best deductions that will help you save money.
Always check with your tax professional for how your state laws and individual situation might impact your savings. The recommendations below may not apply to every teacher.
Tax Forms: W-2 vs. 1099?
Heads up, teachers who buy a lot of supplies for their classroom! If you have a W-2, you are only allowed 250 dollars in expenses as a teacher and are limited in your deductions. Laughable, right? However, if you receive a 1099, you can deduct more reasonable expenses that are related to work. Look at it like this: if you work for a church as a music director and receive a 1099, you can deduct the cost of office supplies. It is reasonable to expect that you would have an office at your job, and would need supplies. Thus, if you bought supplies for your teaching position, but can no longer deduct them as part of your 250 dollars because you went over already, you can deduct them from the 1099.
Pro Tip: Be mindful of what kind of tax paperwork you are likely to receive and group your deductions accordingly.
Potential Deductions To Save Money
Did you know you can deduct courses you pay for out of pocket? I used to pay for classes out of my own pocket and deduct those expenses. Recently, I started working for a school that pays for one class a year, a benefit I have taken advantage of every single year. I know that many educators qualify for such benefits, and even if the school pays for your classes, you are still eligible to deduct them from your taxes. The courses you take are considered work-related training, and you can take the fees for tuition, books, and any other fees as a miscellaneous itemized deduction.
Many of us belong to professional organizations, but have you considered that you can deduct the cost of these organizations off of your taxes? For many jobs, professional licenses are deducted off of their W-2 as a job expense. Since many of these memberships offer workshops and other educational opportunities, they can be deemed as “necessary for your work,” and thus something else you can write off of your taxes. Again, double-check with your accountant to be certain you are keeping the necessary records for this deduction to apply.
If you happen to be a teacherpreneur, there is a whole host of write-offs that you can do for your business. These deductions only apply once you are a business in the eyes of the IRS. While some of these may seem obvious, such as fees for website hosting, courses, and services such as Canva, Adobe, etc., some expenses are not so obvious. If you shoot videos for TikTok, Instagram, and any other social media in your classroom, you could potentially deduct the mileage on your drive to school!
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Thank you to All About Accounting for providing and fact-checking this advice. They specialize in helping teachers with TPT or other teacherpreneur businesses navigate their taxes and deduct the maximum amount possible. Their web content is worth keeping an eye on for more ideas!
I hope that these tips have been helpful to you in navigating what can be a painstaking journey in organizing and filing your taxes in time for the April 15th deadline. Please do not hesitate to seek advice from tax professionals. The more you know, the more prepared you will be and the more money you will save!
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