John Bullis: Educator expenses OK for principals

A principal or a counselor was allowed deduction form 1040 on the front page if they spend less than 900 hours in the classrooms for the last 10 years, but it is not clear if the deduction will be allowed for year 2012.

They are specifically named as eligible for the deduction of up to $ 250 per year for qualified unreimbursed educator classroom expenses. An eligible educator is someone who works for at least 900 hours during a school year at a school that provides elementary or secondary education.

That means for kindergarten through grade 12, a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide can get that "big" $250 deduction for expenses they pay, without doing Itemized Deductions on Schedule A of form 1040.

That deduction has been available from 2002 through 2011.

However, Congress has not yet acted to extend that deduction (and many others) for year 2012.

It seems to me to be a real shame Congress continues to tinker with the tax laws and again, not even give taxpayers an understanding of what the laws are currently.

Many tax professionals believe Congress will take action late this year for various provisions, allowances, deductions, etc. for the tax year of 2012. They just probably won't do it before the elections are over.

That is unfair to taxpayers and does not help everyone to plan for the future.

It would be better if our tax laws were set and then left alone for several years.

All of our teachers, principals, etc. that work hard to give the students a good education are appreciated. What they do is one of the most important and difficult jobs.

It's hard to understand why Congress would not take action to continue the meager tax deduction for supplies they buy to do their work. School districts all over the country are having trouble managing the money they get.

A better answer of course would be for the school districts to pay for all school expenses directly. They have "shifted" some expenses to the good performing, hard working education professionals. That's too bad also. The small tax deduction is just a small "thank you" to those who buy supplies out of their own money.

By the way, I do not support the current "Education Initiative Petition" being circulated. It would be a big mistake for Nevada. It's not working in Texas very well at all.

Did you hear? "Cherishing children is the mark of a civilized society," by W.B. Wolfe.

•-John Bullis is a certified public accountant, personal financial specialist and certified senior adviser serving Carson City for 45 years. He is founder emeritus of Bullis and Company CPAs, LLC.


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