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Publication 17
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000296571

Educator Expenses(p138)

rule
If you were an eligible educator in 2012, you can deduct on Form 1040, line 23, or Form 1040A, line 16, up to $250 of qualified expenses you paid in 2012. If you and your spouse are filing jointly and both of you were eligible educators, the maximum deduction is $500. However, neither spouse can deduct more than $250 of his or her qualified expenses on Form 1040, line 23, or Form 1040A, line 16. You may be able to deduct expenses that are more than the $250 (or $500) limit on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 21.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000296572

Eligible educator.(p138)

rule
An eligible educator is a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide who worked in a school for at least 900 hours during a school year.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000296573

Qualified expenses.(p138)

rule
Qualified expenses include ordinary and necessary expenses paid in connection with books, supplies, equipment (including computer equipment, software, and services), and other materials used in the classroom. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your educational field. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your profession as an educator. An expense does not have to be required to be considered necessary.
Qualified expenses do not include expenses for home schooling or for nonathletic supplies for courses in health or physical education.
You must reduce your qualified expenses by the following amounts.