- The latest version of the Senate tax reform bill released Nov. 15 would double the amount of the deductions teachers can claim for classroom supplies from $250 to $500 and would apply in 2018, if passed, Education Week reports.
- This represents a change from the House's tax reform proposal and the previous version of the Senate tax reform proposal, both of which had cut the deduction altogether.
- Also, an analysis of the House tax plan revealed that the average teacher would likely get tax cuts under the new tax reform plan if it passes.
As legislators are tinkering with the details of a new tax reform package, the issue of the deduction teachers would be allowed for buying supplies is clearly one that is under consideration. Since Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) helped introduce the $250 educator deduction into the tax code back in 2002, it seems that the deduction at least has an advocate in the Senate. An earlier Senate version of the bill, released on Nov. 9, had cut this deduction.
The tax deduction, in its current form, is $250 and is an “above the line” deduction that teachers can claim whether or not they choose to itemize. The current proposed increase to $500 would be a boon to teachers, who reportedly spend an average of $500 out of their own pockets for classroom supplies.
Other good news for teachers may come in the form of tax cuts, regardless of the fate of the supplies deduction. At this point, it is hard to know whether this deduction will increase, remain at $250, or be cut all together.