Texas Teachers Tax Tips

by Jennifer Neel ; Updated July 27, 2017
Teachers can reduce their tax burden.

Teachers in Texas have several options to reduce their tax burden. Depending on your affiliations and the expenses related to your job, there are certain deductions and credits you can claim on your federal income tax return.

Education Expenses

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teachers with advanced degrees or national certifications earn higher salaries. If you are continuing your education, you can claim your tuition and related education expenses, such as books, supplies and fees, as a deduction. Choices include a tuition and fees deduction, a Hope credit or a Lifetime Learning credit.

Dues

Members of certain organizations and professional societies can deduct their dues from their federal income tax returns. These organizations include teaching unions, the Texas State Teachers Association, the Texas Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the Science Teachers Association of Texas.

Subscriptions

Some subscriptions are tax-deductible. If you subscribe to professional journals or trade magazines related to teaching, deduct your subscription costs.

Educator Expenses

According to the Internal Revenue Service, educators can claim the cost of books, supplies, equipment and other materials purchased out-of-pocket for classroom use. As of 2009, you can deduct up to $250 as an adjustment to gross income. If your spouse is also an educator and you file jointly, together you can claim up to $500. If you file single and your expenses exceed the $250 limit, you can deduct the rest as an itemized deduction if these expenses exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income.

Retirement

Employees of public education institutions in Texas are members of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS). If you are a public school teacher, you pay a portion of your annual compensation to TRS on a pre-tax basis. However, any benefits you receive from TRS are subject to federal income tax.

According to the TRS Benefits Handbook, "in some instances," your TRS benefits will affect the calculation of your Social Security benefits. Contact the Social Security Administration to discuss your specific circumstances and perhaps find ways to save money.

About the Author

Based in Houston, Jennifer Neel has been writing education-related articles since 2010. She is a Texas-certified mathematics teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance and marketing from the University of Houston and is pursuing a Master of Education in instructional leadership from American Public University.

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