taxes

Tax planning 2011: Smart moves to make now

Teachers, buy school supplies
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Teachers, buy school supplies

Many school districts cut budgets this year. Dedicated teachers, however, didn't let that stop them from doing their jobs. Many spent their own money to buy school supplies.

Uncle Sam thanks you for your commitment to education through a $250 deduction of your out-of-pocket classroom expenses. If you're married to a teacher or other IRS-eligible educator and you file a joint return, you each can deduct up to $250 per year for your separate expenses.

While the deduction amount might not cover all your added classroom costs, the good thing about this tax break is you don't have to itemize to claim it. It's one of the above-the-line deductions claimed directly on the long Form 1040 as well as on the slightly shorter Form 1040A.

So make your school shopping list, educators, and buy the material by Dec. 31. This tax break is scheduled to expire after that day.


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