12.16.15

SCHUMER ANNOUNCES PERMANENT EXTENSION OF CRITICAL “TEACHER TAX BREAK” INCLUDED IN JUST-UNVEILED TAX PACKAGE; WOULD HELP THOUSANDS OF UPSTATE NY TEACHERS SAVE UP TO $250 PER YEAR IN TAX DEDUCTIONS ON SCHOOL SUPPLIES – EXPIRED IN 2014, PERMANENT RENEWAL WOULD HELP OFF-SET COSTS FOR TEACHERS WHO DIP INTO THEIR OWN POCKETS TO PURCHASE SUPPLIES FOR CLASSROOM

The Average NYS Teacher Spends a Whopping $485 Per Year Out-of-Pocket To Help Educate Our Kids – Important Tax Benefit That Helps Make Purchasing School Supplies More Affordable Expired in 2014; In Total, Over 100K Teachers in Upstate NY Would Be Able to Deduct Up To $25M

Schumer Announces Federal Tax Package Would Make This This Important Benefit for NY Teachers A Permanent Part of The Tax Code – Tax Benefit Will Help Teachers Save & Bring More Supplies Into NY Classrooms to Help Our Kids Learn

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced the just-unveiled tax package includes the reinstatement ?and permanent extension of an expired tax break that helps teachers deduct out-of-pocket classroom supply costs from their taxes. Specifically, the “Teacher Expense Deduction,” would enable over 100,000 teachers across Upstate New York teachers across the state to deduct up to $250 per year from their tax bill. Schumer said this deduction is vital to help offset the $485 that New York State teachers spend each year on average to provide additional supplies for their students. The tax benefit expired in 2014 but would be permanently extended in the must-pass Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act of 2015, known as the “tax extenders” package. Unlike many tax deductions, the Teacher Expense Deduction is an above-the-line deduction, which means all teachers can take advantage of it regardless of whether they itemize their deductions or take the standard deduction.

“Teachers work hard to educate our children and when they reach into their own pockets to buy supplies for their classrooms – to the tune of hundreds of dollars a year – we should give them a break for it. Thousands of educators in Upstate New York have the incredibly important task of educating our children and providing them with the knowledge they need to be successful. But all too often, due to a lack of sufficient resources, our educators are forced to dig into their own pockets to purchase the supplies our kids need to learn and succeed. This bill would make this tax benefit a permanent part of the tax code to help our teachers who dip into their own pockets to purchase supplies for the classroom. I will continue to urge my colleagues in Congress to pass this important tax benefit,” said Schumer.

Schumer explained that in 2014, the Teacher Expense Deduction allowed eligible educators, including teachers, instructors, counselors, principals, and aides, to deduct up to $250 from their tax bill for any unreimbursed expense incurred for books, supplies, computer equipment (including related software and services), and other equipment, as well as supplementary materials used in the classroom. Schumer said that this applies to educators from grades K-12 who work at least 900 hours per school year. According to the National School Supply and Equipment Association, teachers spend on average $485 out of pocket on additional supplies for their students. Schumer said that this deduction will be crucial in helping to offset some of those costs. According to the National Education Association (NEA), public school teachers spent $3.2 billion on classroom tools during the 2012-2013 school year, only half of which was funded by schools, meaning that teachers spent $1.6 billion of their own money on classroom supplies and gear during the 2012-2013 school year. Schumer supported the extension of the Teacher Expense Deduction in the Tax Relief Extension Act of 2015, which passed out of the Senate Finance Committee.

According to the UFT, newer teachers in their first three years spend $581 on average and those teaching a new grade spend $564. Special education teachers spend $530. Schumer said that the passage of this tax benefit would be a win for all teachers because it would allow them to take advantage of the Teacher Expense Deduction in addition to the standard deduction or the itemized deductions they chose to take each year. Schumer also said that if two spouses file jointly and are both educators, they can claim up to $500 with this tax deduction.

Specifically, the 102,199 teachers throughout Upstate New York would be able to deduct a total of $25,549,750:

•         In the Capital Region, 13,180 teachers would be able to deduct up to $3,295,000.

•         In Central New York, 12,958 teachers would be able to deduct up to $3,239,500.

•         In Western New York, 15,672 teachers would be able to deduct up to $3,918,000.

•         In the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region, 15,902 teachers would be able to deduct up to $3,975,500.

•         In the Southern Tier, 9,683 teachers would be able to deduct up to $2,420,750.

•         In the Hudson Valley, 27,652 teachers would be able to deduct up to $6,913,000.

•         In the North Country, 7,152 teachers would be able to deduct up to $1,788,000.

 

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