What is the Educator's Deduction?
(Revised December 2015)


This deduction originally expired with 2014 tax returns.  Recent legislation extended it for two more years.

On their 2015 and 2016, 'educators' will still be able to take a deduction, against gross income, of up to $250 for the unreimbursed costs for education related expenses (e.g. books, supplies, computer expenses). This deduction can be taken even if you take a standard deduction. Educator expenses exceeding the $250 limit can be taken as a miscellaneous itemized deduction and only if itemized. You are considered to be an 'eligible educator' for the tax year if both of the following apply:

  • You are a K thru 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide
  • You work at least 900 hours during the year in a K thru 12 school.

Parents who home school their children do not qualify for this deduction on their Federal return.  Neither does college level employment.

Illinois allows a credit of up to $500 for tuition and fees involving grades K through high school.  In some cases, home school expenses do qualify for this credit.  Press here for information on the Illinois credit.

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