Thursday, September 14, 2017

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Upstate teachers missing out on tax break, says senator

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Charles Schumer launched a campaign to remind teachers across Upstate New York to apply for the “Teacher Tax Deduction.” This tax deduction only became a permanent part of the tax code in 2015, with the passage of the Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, which also indexed its $250 maximum amount for inflation.

In the Hudson Valley, almost 58,000 teachers may be able to deduct up to a total of about $14.4 million.

Schumer said this critical deduction helps teachers deduct out-of-pocket classroom supply costs from their taxes. Specifically, the Teacher Expense Deduction would enable nearly 215,000 teachers across upstate New York to deduct up to $250 per year from their tax bill. Schumer said this deduction is vital to help offset the $485 on average that New York State teachers spend each year to provide additional supplies for their students. Finally, Schumer released a report on the number of teachers that this benefit could help, as well as the amount of money they could deduct.

“I have always said it and I’ll say it again: teaching is one of the most difficult and most important professions in our country,” the senator said. “That is why 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.”

According to the United Federation of Teachers (UTF), newer teachers in their first three years spend $581 on average and those teaching a new grade spend $564. Special education teachers spend $530 on average. Schumer said today’s reminder serves as 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.

 


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