Hidden back-to-school tax deductions

tax benefits for giving to school

As the summer draws to a close, back-to-school advertising is ramping up. Parents, guardians, and teachers can take advantage of tax benefits tucked away in giving time, money, or supplies to a school. Here are five methods for saving:

Tax benefits for giving to the school

  1. Donate money rather than purchasing a raffle ticket. Fun ways for schools to collect money include raffles, subscription drives, and silent auctions. Give up the potential prize to maximize your capacity to write off your donations. The total contribution is then unquestionably deductible. When donating, don’t forget to request a receipt.
  2. Keep in mind the costs you incurred personally for your voluntary work. You might volunteer your time at school events, give books to the library, or aid the teaching staff. It would be best to track your out-of-pocket costs and mileage for charitable deduction reasons.
  3. Use checks rather than cash. If you typically give cash donations to the school (such as extra funds to support other students attending field trips), consider giving a check instead. The check will serve to help prove your donation.

For parent and teacher classroom contributions

  1. Watch for tax deductions on the supply list. Schools usually send out a list of requested materials for the school year. Some of the items on the list are clearly for personal use, while other items on the list are often for school use and classroom use. Examples include 24 pencils or paper towels rather than the typical eraser or a ruler. Keep note of these non-cash donations to classrooms and schools for potential tax deductions. Or much better, give money.
  2. Teachers: save your spending! According to a recent survey, 94% of instructors spend their own money on classroom supplies, up to $1,000 yearly. Even if they use the standard deduction on their 2022 tax return, teachers are still entitled to a $300 deduction. You can write off up to $600 in educational materials if you’re married.

Last but not least, remember to study state regulations regarding educational costs. There are often credits available for out-of-pocket school and other educational expenses. Contact our RRBB accountants and advisors if you have questions about this or any other tax matter.


Get free tax planning and financial advice