Washington -- The Internal Revenue Service reminds teachers that the Educator Expenses Deduction, put in place by last year’s Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act, was authorized only for 2002 and 2003. The deduction is available to eligible educators in public or private elementary or secondary schools. To be eligible, a person must work at least 900 hours during a school year as a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide.

Taxpayers may subtract up to $250 of qualified expenses when figuring their adjusted gross income for 2003. This deduction is available whether or not the taxpayer itemizes deductions on Schedule A. As the new school year begins, the IRS urges teachers and other educators to save their receipts for purchases of books and classroom supplies. The

IRS suggests they keep records of qualifying expenses in a folder or envelope with a label such as “Educator Expenses Deduction,” noting the date, amount and purpose of each purchase. This will help prevent a missed deduction at tax time.

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