Attention Teachers! Don’t lose the benefit of your out of pocket classroom expenses!
For tax years prior to 2014, K-12 teachers, teacher’s aides or principals are allowed to deduct up to $250 for supplies paid for out of your own pocket. However, for 2014 and forward (pending any law changes), that deduction has been eliminated.
If the school you purchase supplies for is a nonprofit organization (most public schools and some charter schools), than the classroom supplies you purchase over the $250 could qualify as a charitable contribution. Appropriate documentation is required by the Internal Revenue Service in order to take a charitable deduction, depending on the value of your donation. Below are the requirements:
Under $250 Value
- You must obtain a receipt from the organization that includes the name of the organization, the date and location of the contribution made and a description of the property donated.
- You must also keep your own additional records of the cost basis and fair market value of the items donated.
Between $250 and $500 Value
- You must obtain written acknowledgement from the organization that includes the name of the organization, the date and location of the contribution made and a description of the property donated.
- The acknowledgement must also include whether the organization gave you any goods or services as a result of your contribution as well as a good faith estimate of the value of any goods or services are received.
- The acknowledgement must be received by the date you file your tax return for the year the donation was made.
Between $500 and $5,000 Value
- You must obtain written acknowledgement that contains all information listed above for donations between $250 and $500.
- In addition, you must also keep your own records that detail how the donated property was acquired, the date acquired and the cost basis of the items donated.
You can plan ahead, and with a little extra work to obtain the documentation needed, but it will allow you to preserve the tax benefit you have received in prior years.
If you need assistance with planning or questions on the documentation required, please contact your tax advisors at ShindelRock.