Tax reform could pinch teacher deduction


The proposed tax reform bill will do away with a deduction of up to $250 a year for teachers who spend money buying school supplies and are not reimbursed for them.

Section 1312 of the proposed reform calls for doing away with  expenses attributable to the trade or business of being an employee.

“Taxpayers generally may claim expenses relating to the trade or business of being an employee only if they itemize deductions. Certain expenses attributable to the trade or business of being an employee, however, are allowed as above-the-line deductions, including . . . certain expenses of elementary and secondary school teachers, and certain expenses of members of reserve components of the United States military.”

“Under the provision, a taxpayer would not be allowed an itemized deduction for expenses attributable to the trade or business of performing services as an employee.”

The proposal brought a quick rebuke from the National Education Association.

President Lily Eskelsen Garcia said in part: “Similarly, as educators spend more and more of their own funds each year to buy basic essentials, Republican leaders chose to ignore the sacrifice made by those who work in our nation’s public schools to make sure students have adequate books, pencils, paper and art supplies.”

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