The IRS gives a $250 tax deduction to educators for unreimbursed supplies they spend in the classroom.
Can homeschoolers take this deduction?
The IRS guidelines say to be an eligible educator:
“You work at least 900 hours a school year in a school that provides elementary or secondary education, as determined under state law.”
To work means to get paid for your work as a teacher-employee. Homeschool parents are not employees of a school. We do not get paid; we do not get a W-2. The IRS will check for a W-2 from a school if a taxpayer takes the Educator Expense deduction. Homeschoolers would not have a W-2 from a school, even if your state classifies your homeschool as a private school.
The Educator Expense Deduction was initiated by President Geo W. Bush attempting to get support from teachers and their powerful unions. It was extended at the end of 2010 for one more year.
I do not recommend that homeschool parents take the Educators Expense deduction. Sorry.
Carol Topp, CPA
P.S. Here are my required “lawyer” words:
Internal Revenue Service Circular 230 Disclosure: Advice relating to federal taxes that is contained in this communication (including attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.