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New package extends tax break for teachers

January 21, 2016
By Katrina Fuller ( , Westfield Republican

Teachers will soon see the reinstatement and a permanent extension of a tax break aiming to offset their out of pocket expenses for their classrooms.

U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-NY, announced the Teacher Expense Deduction is included in the recent tax package which was signed into law on Dec. 18.

The Teacher Expense Deduction will allow over 100,000 teachers in Upstate New York to deduct up to $250 per year from their tax bills. According to Schumer, the average teacher in New York state spends $485 per year out of their own pockets for additional school supplies and more.

The extension is a part of the Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act of 2015, or the tax extenders package.

"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," Schumer said. "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."

He said the extention makes the tax benefit a permanent tenet of the tax code, providing lasting relief for teachers spending their own funds for classroom success.

The Teacher Expense Deduction was originally introduced in 2014. The measure allowed eligible educators such as teachers, instructors, counselors, principals and aids to deduct the funds from their taxes for expenses such as books, supplies, computer equipment and other equipment. Schumer said it applies to kindergarten- to 12th-grade educators who work at least 900 hours per school year.

Schumer said this deduction will be crucial in helping to offset some of these costs.

The 102,199 teachers throughout Upstate New York will now be able to deduct over $25 million from their tax bills. In Western New York, 15,672 teachers could deduct up to $3,918,000. In the Southern Tier, 9,683 teacher could deduct up to $2,420,750.



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