Read these tips from NEA Member Benefits before you start working on your taxes this year. Make sure you claim your educator deductions so you can get back as much money as possible.
The tax reform of 2017 kept the $250 above-the-line deduction for classroom supplies, and it’s still available for the 2019 tax year (the year for which taxes are due on April 15, 2020). The $250 deduction is particularly advantageous because it is above the line on Schedule A, which means you don’t have to itemize to take it and it reduces your overall adjusted gross income (AGI).
This becomes even more important under the most recent tax reform, which virtually doubled the standard deduction, setting the threshold even higher for choosing to itemize. Legislation in 2015 indexed the amount to inflation—though it is unchanged at $250 for 2019—and allows professional development expenses to be included in the deduction. If both spouses filing jointly are educators, each can claim the deduction, for a total of $500. Read more
Legislation passed late in 2015 made many “tax extenders” semi-permanent, but there are still a few esoteric items that keep everyone on tenterhooks when, as once again this year, Congress fails to pass the tax bill by the end of the year. The new Congress is likely to make them retroactive once they finally do pass the bill in 2019.
In addition, 2018 is the first tax year that most of the new provisions of last year’s tax reform apply, so there are a lot of changes. Read more
Senator Blumenthal, teacher and State Rep. Joshua Hall, and West Hartford teacher Theresa McKeown spoke out against the proposal to eliminate the educator expense deduction at a press conference today at West Middle School in Hartford.
When West Hartford teacher and local Association president Theresa McKeown heard that the Republican tax plan would eliminate the popular educator expense deduction she wanted to find out what this would mean for her colleagues.
Most teachers told her they spend $500 to $1,000 annually out-of-pocket on supplies for their classrooms—considerably above the $250 the federal government currently allows teachers to deduct from their taxes.
And what do teachers spend that money on? The list McKeown compiled is long and includes winter coats, hats, mittens, boots, calculators, binders, magazine subscriptions, snacks for students who have none, and meals to send home with students over the weekend. Read more