The Internal Revenue Service is reminding teachers and educators to keep receipts if they buy books and other classroom supplies with their own money.
“Many teachers dip into their own pockets for classroom supplies,” said Michael Devine, an IRS spokesman. “The reinstatement of this deduction gives educators a tax break in 2008 and 2009.”
The educator expense deduction expired at the end of last year, but the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 reinstated the tax break.
An educator may subtract up to $250 of qualified out-of-pocket expenses when figuring his or her adjusted gross income.
The deduction is available to educators in public or private elementary or secondary schools. To be eligible, a person must work at least 900 hours during a school year as a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide.
Expenses paid during 2008 may qualify. Books, supplies, computer equipment, other equipment and supplemental materials used in the classroom are qualified expenses.
For forms, log on to irs.gov.