Personal Finance 

Increase The Educator Expense Deduction

Email  Print Print  

The Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004 reinstated a tax break for educators that allow them to deduct up to $250 of qualified out-of-pocket expenses when calculating their AGI, it’s called the Educator Expense Deduction. I don’t disagree with allowing this but it’s an example of how our system is failing if our system anticipates that a teacher in “public or private elementary or secondary schools” will be spending money out of pocket for their classrooms. In fact, I think it should be raised to have no cap or at least a very high cap. When you also consider that teacher salaries are already low, justified by some as reasonable because they only work for part of the year; it’s no wonder that the educational system has failed some students.

In some if not all cases, I would argue that $250 isn’t enough for a year as it is $20.83 a month and that won’t buy you more than a pack of crayons these days. A more reasonable number should be somewhere in the realm of $2,500 a year, if not more (such as no cap!), or $200+ a month. That’s not to say many teachers will max out the deduction, or be expected to, but it does give them the opportunity to recoup some of the costs needed to operate their classrooms in some of the under funded school systems.

The only impact I can see, with my rudimentary understanding of how it all works, is that you’ll be moving money from the government’s bucket to the education system’s bucket while decreasing transaction costs. When the government earmarks a dollar for education, it comes from tax revenue. For the dollar to get from income tax, per say, it must be collected, recorded, paperwork, red-tape, blah blah, finally it gets disbursed to the school system, then divvied up to the schools, then checks are cut, blah blah, finally the teacher gets a ten-pack of glue from a special distributor with the school. Instead, the teacher can go down to Wal-Mart, snag a ten-pack of glue (maybe 25 cents more expensive than from the special distributor), save us all a ton of paperwork churning money, and our students can glue their popsicle sticks together without waiting four months.

{ 2 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

Related Posts

RSS Subscribe Like this article? Get all the latest articles sent to your email for free every day. Enter your email address and click "Subscribe." Your email will only be used for this daily subscription and you can unsubscribe anytime.

2 Responses to “Increase The Educator Expense Deduction”

  1. Even an unlimted deduction isn’t all that generous, as they are only recovering a small percetnage of their out-of-pocket costs (depending on their tax bracket).

  2. jim says:

    True, but I see the $250 deduction as downright insulting… on one hand it officially recognizes that teachers pay for school supplies for their students (by codifying the deduction) and on the other hand the government only offers $250 worth of deductions for it.

Please Leave a Reply
Bargaineering Comment Policy

Previous Article: «
Next Article: »
Advertising Disclosure: Bargaineering may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website.
About | Contact Me | Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights | Terms of Use | Press
Copyright © 2016 by All rights reserved.