Chapter from TaxAssurances’ Book: Educator Expenses

The following post is a chapter in the TaxAssurances’ book, “Top 12 Tax Deductions You Might Have Missed. Tax Tips For People Who Do Their Own Federal Taxes.”

You can purchase the full book on Amazon.

Chapter 11 Educator Expenses

Every year TaxAssurances prepares tax returns for a number of people in the education profession. They all spend countless hours preparing to help educate young children. Along with that time, these educators spend their own money helping educate children. The IRS rewards that effort in a small way by providing a tax benefit.

As a result, the IRS allows teachers, instructors, counselors, principals, and aides that work at least 900 hours in elementary or secondary schools deductions of up to $250 of any unreimbursed expenses.

Those expenses include:
• books
• supplies
• computer equipment
• Other equipment that they use in the classroom.

The IRS does have these following requirements on taking these expenses as a deduction:

“Qualified expenses are deductible only to the extent a number of such expenses exceed the following amounts for the tax year:

• The interest on qualified U.S. savings bonds that you excluded from income because you paid qualified higher education expenses,

• Any distribution from a qualified tuition program that you excluded from income,

• Any tax-free withdrawals from your Coverdell education savings accounts,

• Any reimbursed expenses not reported to you in box 1 of your Form W-2 (PDF).”

For more information about the educator expense deduction, read IRS Topic 458 on the IRS.gov website.

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The Financial Costs of Civil Rights Leadership

Martin Luther King Jr. is an American and global civil rights icon. His impact has reverberated for decades and will continue to do so. He is a man that made a difference.

But as a civil rights leader and a family man, he had bills. Something not often talked about. People needed to stay in hotels, lawyers in certain cases had to be paid. His children needed food, clothing and a home to sleep in.

Even today that’s the case for civil rights leaders and organizations. The fight for civil rights cost money. Both for it’s leadership and the overall organization.

So TaxAssurances put together a list of expenses that may show up on a non profit civil rights organization’s 990 tax form or expenses they simply have to pay to move the purpose of their organization forward.

Here is that list:

  • airline tickets
  • cabs/taxis
  • hotels
  • meals
  • conference/convention fees
  • cell phone
  • employee salaries
  • office rent
  • office phone
  • electric bill
  • office supplies
  • office paper
  • office ink
  • subscriptions to publications
  • computer equipment
  • office furniture
  • bail money
  • subcontractor payments/professional contract services
  • attorney’s fees
  • research staff
  • court fees
  • accountant’s fees
  • media training
  • public relations consultant
  • insurance
  • postage and shipping expenses
  • printing, duplication and artwork for flyers and other marketing material
  • donated materials and services
  • misc. expense
  • Oh yeah, and family expenses

So as we celebrate the life of an American treasure, it’s worth noting the real dollar costs that were laid out for his efforts. Efforts on so many levels that were not free.

Artist: Derek Russell
Titled: MLK
Media: oil on board
Size: 12″x16″
Painted in 2013
Commissioned and Collected by GSV Capital
Art Exhibited at the GSV Gallery in Woodside, CA

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