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house Bill H.R. 2692

Do Teachers Need a Tax Deduction for School Supplies They Buy?

Argument in favor

Teachers and certain aides from Head Start up through high school should be able to deduct school supplies they buy for their classrooms as a work expense.

bart's Opinion
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08/25/2016
Teachers need all of the help they can get. Hard to argue against this one.
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James's Opinion
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08/24/2016
When a teacher buys a school supply it is a work related expense. If the government allows private businesses to deduct expenses, why shouldn't teachers be able to do the same?
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Courtney's Opinion
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08/24/2016
If CEO's can write off their jet planes as a work expense, teachers should be allowed to write off supplies for their students.
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Argument opposed

If teachers want to spend their own money on supplies for their classrooms out of the goodness of their hearts that’s great, but they don’t need a tax deduction for it.

cmesin's Opinion
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08/24/2016
I worked in the school district for seven years. I believe that teachers should keep receipts for what they purchased and get reimbursed. $250 tax credit is a mere pittance to what I have seen teachers pay for extra materials for the students.
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B.R.'s Opinion
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08/24/2016
While I think that it is commendable that teachers buy school supplies paid from their own pocket, I do not believe that a tax deduction is the right way to go whether it be for elementary, high school or other. Besides what does the number of hours worked have to do with anything? I would rather see these teachers submit a receipt and receive full reimbursement. Additionally, as with any reimbursement policy, guidelines should be published on acceptable supplies/items for reimbursement. This practice would then align with how businesses reimburse their employees, not to be confused with the tax deductions permitted for a business.
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operaman's Opinion
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08/24/2016
No on this Bill. This is an asinine way to repay teachers for classroom supplies. Just have teachers save receipts and turn them into school management if it's under a certain set amount. Big expenditures would require special processing. This Bill is a gimmick to charge the general taxpayers for local school supplies. I'm sure local school districts would love the general taxpayers to pad their budgets. Parents are paying whether through property taxes or having little Johnny pay in the classroom. However, there would be parents who would short circuit (not my words, but HillaryClinton's words) over having little Johnny pay.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedJune 9th, 2015

What is House Bill H.R. 2692?

This bill would make an existing $250 tax deduction for elementary and high school teachers’ expenses permanent, and allow teachers or aides at Head Start programs to use the deduction if they work at least 700 hours during the school year. The deduction would compensate educators for money they spent on school supplies for their classroom and students.

The tax deduction would come from a person’s gross income, so it would be what’s known as an above-the-line deduction, rather than being applied to their remaining tax burden after other deductions or exemptions are applied.

Impact

Teachers and qualified aides; students in their classrooms; and the tax code.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2692

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) introduced this bill to help teachers be reimbursed for school supplies that they buy out-of-pocket:

“Providing educators with the classroom supplies they need to prepare the next generation is a critical piece of educational success. Allowing both our Head Start and primary and secondary teachers to get reimbursed for expenses is not only good for their students, but it is also a matter of educational equity.”

The tax deduction for elementary and high school teachers was included in Congress’ December 2015 bipartisan budget deal, but Head Start teachers and aides were left uncovered. This led Beatty to say that she will “continue to fight for the inclusion of Head Start teachers who pay for supplies out of pocket.”

This legislation has the support of 25 cosponsors in the House, all of whom are Democrats.



Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Flickr user US Department of Education)

AKA

Reimburse Educators who Pay for Academic Year Supplies Act of 2015

Official Title

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make permanent the above-the-line deduction for certain expenses of elementary and secondary school teachers and to allow Head Start teachers the same above-the-line deduction for supplies as is allowed to elementary and secondary school teachers.

    Teachers need all of the help they can get. Hard to argue against this one.
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    I worked in the school district for seven years. I believe that teachers should keep receipts for what they purchased and get reimbursed. $250 tax credit is a mere pittance to what I have seen teachers pay for extra materials for the students.
    Like (31)
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    When a teacher buys a school supply it is a work related expense. If the government allows private businesses to deduct expenses, why shouldn't teachers be able to do the same?
    Like (46)
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    If CEO's can write off their jet planes as a work expense, teachers should be allowed to write off supplies for their students.
    Like (33)
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    While I think that it is commendable that teachers buy school supplies paid from their own pocket, I do not believe that a tax deduction is the right way to go whether it be for elementary, high school or other. Besides what does the number of hours worked have to do with anything? I would rather see these teachers submit a receipt and receive full reimbursement. Additionally, as with any reimbursement policy, guidelines should be published on acceptable supplies/items for reimbursement. This practice would then align with how businesses reimburse their employees, not to be confused with the tax deductions permitted for a business.
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    ABSOLUTELY, I have a daughter in law who has to spend well over $1,000. per year out of her family's budget since her school district is too cheap to fully fund her classroom. These teachers need to be able to write off these needed classroom items
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    Teachers should be compensated far greater! $250 is a drop in the bucket to what is actually spent educating our children properly.
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    Yes but it's not enough, teachers should be reimbursed for 100% of classroom supplies they purchase
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    Teachers are the future. While I don't think that this is a complete piece of legislation (i.e. I believe they should get MORE than a 250$ credit for what they buy), we should be providing teachers any financial benefit we can.
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    No on this Bill. This is an asinine way to repay teachers for classroom supplies. Just have teachers save receipts and turn them into school management if it's under a certain set amount. Big expenditures would require special processing. This Bill is a gimmick to charge the general taxpayers for local school supplies. I'm sure local school districts would love the general taxpayers to pad their budgets. Parents are paying whether through property taxes or having little Johnny pay in the classroom. However, there would be parents who would short circuit (not my words, but HillaryClinton's words) over having little Johnny pay.
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    HEAR ME OUT! I absolutely agree that teachers need to be made whole for the expenses they incur in order to be able to do their job well, I just disagree in how they get made whole. (1) Rather than a tax deduction, I think it would be more appropriate for teachers to submit receipts and get full reimbursement from their school systems (for system-approved school supplies, of course). Now because I think they should be reimbursed by their school system of employment, (2) no, I think the federal government should stay out of it.
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    While I love and support teachers (one of my best friends is a teacher), what we need is more simplified taxes. Not more complicated. What if a teacher spends more that $250? What if they spend less? Do they still take the deduction? A problem has been identified and we're trying to fix the problem by making things more complicated. This is a symptomatic approach instead of a wholistic approach.
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    I agree a $250 deduction on taxes is an insult. In my case and I would think in most cases there was no money available for my receipts. We had a budget, and as I said it didn't match inflation and was less each school year. When that money was spent there was no money available for teachers to submit their receipts for reimbursement. With the proposed Voucher System, there will be less money available. If you are in favor of vouchers, please do some research and learn the truth about where the money goes rather than to education. And remember that most of us may not have the additional money to make a voucher an option. Then there is the fact that lower income families cannot pay for the transportation and probably not for the uniforms either. Please do your research and make an educated opinion. The Voucher System has been created to assist well to do families. Period.
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    Teachers get paid crap, get criticized when they send home lengthy supply lists, and wind up having to dip into their own cash to make up the difference. Oh, and the well-intentioned donation drives designed to help connect students with classroom tools often don't work as well as they should. This is about much more than just making sure kids have markers and Kleenex. About half of teachers will leave the profession sometime in their first three years. Others say it happens sometime in the first five. Imagine the effect that has on kids, especially the ones in lower-income areas, when the young, passionate, energetic teachers they desperately need are bailing on the profession because they can't afford it anymore. If a kid can go through all 12 years of education and have an amazing experience, there's a really good chance that the cycle of poverty in their family could break, if we can equip teachers to enjoy their job, so that they're excited about it, that rubs off on the students. It gives us an opportunity to really change the community.
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    Of course they should get a tax credit if they aren't being reimbursed by the school district. Forcing poorly paid teachers to supply their classrooms is outrageous. These expenses should be funded by the school districts and there needs to be some regulation that insures they are. Perhaps if more people voted out their state representatives that allow school budgets to be constantly cut back, this type of scam on our teachers would end.
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    HELL YES! Whoever wrote the con argument has clearly not been near a school in the past 20 years. When my mother taught in the 1950's & '60's, the school system gave teachers the supplies. It isn't as though teachers have a choice. They MUST decorate their rooms & now are required to pay for ALL the materials themselves. Since we have apparently decided that schools are the last on our list of national priorities and that teachers are Public Enemy Number One, it seems reasonable that unless we want to be the least well educated & the last in teacher pay in the developed world that we could give teachers a financial break for things we require them to do.
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    Simple tools like chalk and paper can too easily be ignored in school budgets on a day to day and year by year basis, particularly for lower income and less privileged institutions in urban areas. This would help teachers in a cheap and simple way to aid their students by significant means.
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    We should be investing so much more money and resources in our education system - it is truly painful and backwards how little we invest. Teachers need all the help they can get!
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    As a former teacher and am in school for counseling, I know the costs can stack up. Teachers don't make nearly enough to provide for themselves, their families and their students. We do not ask doctors to pay for medicine for their patients, why do we ask teachers to pay for their own supplies?
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    This is a local issue, not a federal one. Let the individual school districts and regional school boards figure it out.
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