Q. My wife works part time as a teacher’s aide in an elementary school. Can she deduct any of her personal expenses for school as a miscellaneous itemized deduction? R.M., Athens, Ga.
A. She can do even better. An eligible educator is able to deduct up to $250 “above the line” for the cost of books, supplies, computer equipment and other supplemental materials used in the classroom. Among others, the definition of “educator” includes aides as well as teachers of kindergarten through 12th grade.
This tax break, which isn’t subject to the usual 2%-of-AGI limit for unreimbursed employee business expenses, is scheduled to expire after 2009.
Tip: Any excess still may be deducted as a miscellaneous expense (subject to the 2%-of-AGI limit) on your 2009 return.