Teachers provide an endless stream of supplies for their students, spending an average of $1,500 a year from our own pockets. We provide shoes & jackets for kids who may not have them; pencils, paper and field trips for enrichment; and nutritious snacks to make sure all of the children have full bellies so they can focus on their work.
Until recently, teachers could claim a small amount of these expenditures as work expense deductions similar to the uniform/clothing deduction. This was a deduction, not a tax credit, so it would reduce your tax liability without contributing to any refund you may be due. This “Ask Dow Jones” column addresses the potential fate of that piece of tax code.