Q: I am about to file my taxes, isn’t there a state law to help educators pay for materials?
A: Yes! As of July 1, 2017 most public school educators in Arkansas are now eligible for a state income tax deduction called the Teacher’s Classroom Investment Deduction. This year, the state legislature doubled the amount beginning in the 2021 tax year.
An educator is eligible for a deduction of up to $500 or $1000 for two educators filing jointly. Note that this is in addition to the existing federal tax deduction.
Q: What can I count toward this deduction?
A: Qualified classroom investment expenses – This means materials used in the classroom, including books, school supplies, computer equipment and software, athletic equipment, food for the teacher’s students and clothing for the teacher’s students.
Q: Who is eligible for this tax deduction?
A: In the law, “Teacher” means a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide for students in any grade from prekindergarten through grade 12 who is employed for at least 900 hours in a tax year at a school certified by the state to provide public preschool, elementary, or secondary education.