With a new school year getting underway, teachers need to know that for the first time since it began in 2002, there has been an increase in the maximum deduction for classroom expenses paid out-of-pocket. 

For 2022, the cap has been raised 20% from $250 to $300 and covers expenses for items such as books, supplies, computer equipment, and software. Items purchased to aid in the prevention of Covid-19, including disinfectant, face masks, gloves, sanitizer, and air purifiers among others are also eligible. 

This deduction applies to K-12 educators who work more than 900 hours at a school during an academic year, including teachers, principals, teachers’ aides, and counselors, regardless of whether they work in a public or private institution. Spouses who are both eligible educators and file a joint return can deduct up to $600 for 2022, but this is capped at $300 per person. 

The IRS has also indicated that the deduction cap, accounting for inflation, could continue to increase in $50 increments in future years.

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