Jump to content


Taxes: Educator Expense Deduction?

Recommended Posts

I know the question has been asked here before and the answer has always been "no" about deducting homeschool materials on your taxes, but reading this made me think that it may not be such a simple answer.


Educator Expense Deduction


If you are an eligible educator, you can deduct up to $250 ($500 if married filing joint and both spouses are educators, but not more than $250 each) of any unreimbursed expenses [otherwise deductible as a trade or business expense] you paid or incurred for books, supplies, computer equipment (including related software and services), other equipment, and supplementary materials that you use in the classroom. For courses in health and physical education, expenses for supplies are qualified expenses only if they are related to athletics. This deduction is for expenses paid or incurred during the tax year. The deduction is claimed on either line 23 of Form 1040 (PDF) or line 16 of Form 1040A (PDF).

You are an eligible educator if, for the tax year, you meet the following requirements:



  • You are a kindergarten through grade 12:
    • Teacher
    • Instructor
    • Counselor
    • Principal, or
    • Aide, and



    [*]You work at least 900 hours a school year in a school that provides elementary or secondary education, as determined under state law.



(emphasis added mine)


Since in Texas, homeschools are considered private schools and are treated the same in all other areas, why would this not apply to a homeschool teacher for tax purposes? Is it because of the definition of "work"; for tax purposes does a teacher have to receive a paycheck in order to be considered working? If so, how would this apply to those private school teacher who receive reduced/free tuition for their own children when teaching in a private school? Or is it because of the 900 hour requirement, does that not apply because we are in our own home?


I am not planning on trying to take the deduction. It just has me curious as to why it would not apply in those states where homeschools are considered private schools under state law. It does seem that a valid case could be made for it to apply in those situations, but I am not all that knowledgable about tax law, so that is why I asked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...