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IRS.gov Website
Publication 17
taxmap/pub17/p17-100.htm#en_us_publink100049329

Educator Expenses(p141)

rule
If you were an eligible educator in 2016, you can deduct up to $250 of qualified expenses you paid in 2016 as an adjustment to gross income on Form 1040, line 23, rather than as a miscellaneous itemized deduction. If you file Form 1040A, you can deduct these expenses on line 16. 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.
taxmap/pub17/p17-100.htm#en_us_publink100049330

Eligible educator. (p141)

rule
An eligible educator is a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide in school for at least 900 hours during a school year.
taxmap/pub17/p17-100.htm#en_us_publink100049331

Qualified expenses. (p141)

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 doesn’t have to be required to be considered necessary.
Note. Beginning in 2016, qualified expenses also include those expenses you incur while participating in professional development courses related to the curriculum in which you provide instruction. It also includes those expenses related to those students for whom you provide that instruction.
Qualified expenses don’t 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.
taxmap/pub17/p17-100.htm#en_us_publink100049333

Educator expenses over limit. (p141)

rule
If you were an educator in 2016 and you had qualified expenses that you can’t take as an adjustment to gross income, you can deduct the rest as an itemized deduction subject to the 2% limit.