On Wednesdays, we here at The Snarky Schoolteacher bring you #EdHack, a feature designed to bring you tips and tricks for your classroom to make your life just a little easier!
Happy Wednesday! During this back-to-school season, I have been committed to bringing you tips and tricks for saving money. This week, I want to tell you about an often-overlooked tax credit that you can take when you file your 2016 taxes next year.
According to the IRS website, eligible educators can deduct up to $250 of any unreimbursed expenses on their taxes.
Qualified expenses are amounts you paid or incurred for books, supplies, computer equipment (including related software and services), other equipment, and supplementary materials that you use in the classroom.
So why am I telling you about this now when taxes aren't due until April 15? Well, my friends, the tricky thing about tax deductions is that you have to save your receipts and keep them on file with your tax information. Can you imagine missing out on a $250 tax credit for something as silly as forgetting to save your receipts? It happens all the time, but if you have a system in place for managing your receipts, adding that deduction will be a piece of cake!
how to keep receipts organized
In our house, my proven system for keeping up with receipts is the envelope system. I use recycled envelopes and label them with the items we need to file and keep. Simply create one for school receipts, and whenever you purchase a school item, tuck the receipt into the folder and worry no more! We have a small bulletin board where I tack up envelopes, but find what works for you. Think about where the majority of your receipts tend to end up (in your car, your purse, a home office space) and work with that. If you're worried about receipts falling out, a small manila envelope works well, plus it can easily be opened and re-sealed with the clasps. Once a month or so, I also empty my "receipt envelope" into a separate manila folder in our tax file to further streamline the process.
If you order classroom items online, fear not! An email folder system works wonders for easily keeping track of school receipts. In my inbox, I have a folder designated for each tax year. Any time I get an e-receipt that will be used for tax purposes, I simply move the confirmation email into that folder. Then, it's available for easy reference when it's time to do our taxes and I can open the folder, print what I need, and be done!
Maybe you've been buying tons of school items and have already lost track of your receipts. Fear not! It's never too late to start. Find what you can, and make it a goal to start keeping them filed from this point forward. When 2017 rolls around and it's time to file those taxes, you'll be glad you did!
Have your own #EdHack you'd like to share? Tell us about it by submitting through the form here; you may be featured in a future edition of #EdHack.
The Snarky Schoolteacher is an education and lifestyle blog run by dedicated educational professionals. Our goal is to bring you relevant and fun educational content with a side of sass. Read more about our team here. Thanks for visiting, and we hope you will find these ideas and resources helpful in your classrooms and in your lives.