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Tax Tips 101 for Teachers01.31.14

We owe a lot to teachers. Without the lessons and life skills we learned throughout our years of schooling, none of us would be where we are today. But being a teacher also means being a student of the latest educational developments and technology, as well as keeping up with evolving curriculum and requirements. Fortunately for our educators, there are special tax advantages available for teachers.

As an educator, you may be able to deduct the cost of training and conferences, plus related hotel accommodations, meals and travel as employee business expenses if you itemize deductions.  

Still paying off student loans? Up to $2,500 of their student loan interest may be deductible. If you are paying for your own continuing education courses, you may also be eligible for the Lifetime Learning Credit for the cost of tuition.

If you are an eligible educator, you can also deduct up to $250 ($500 if married filing jointly and both spouses are educators, but not more than $250 each) of any unreimbursed expenses you paid or incurred for books, supplies, computer equipment, other equipment, and supplementary materials that you use in the classroom.

Unfortunately, the Educator Expense deduction of up to $250 per taxpayer expired December 31, 2013.  While you can still claim this deduction on your 2013 return, unless Congress extends it, the direct deduction will no longer be available for 2014 and future years.

So how will this add up on your tax return? Stop by your neighborhood Jackson Hewitt to find out.