As the funding for our children’s classroom dwindles, our children’s classroom experience is about to take another hit. Teachers across America will soon learn that the Educator Expense Deduction, which was revitalized under the “Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004”, has expired and questions of it being renewed remain unanswered for 2012’s taxes.
The Educator Expense Deduction allowed qualified educators in private, elementary or secondary schools to deduct up to $250 of unreimbursed expenses, such as instructional material, software, and various supplies, against their adjusted gross income (AGI) offering a small tax benefit.
Certainly, the tax upset is not enough to make or break families of educators nationwide, but it is yet another blow to our children’s academic experience that could possibly leave salary reduced educators feeling “fed up” with all of the bureaucracy and they just may not be as willing to provide the materials that they need anymore.
Parents, it’s time to take action and help promote a well-rounded experience in your child’s classroom by supporting your local Parent Teacher Association (PTA) or Organization (PTO). PTA’s are community groups formed with parents and educators from your child’s school. These leaders realize the shortfalls that influence their particular school and work their butts off to help offset the budget
shortfalls. PTA’s support many facets of education including field trips, playground equipment, school supplies and various school specific grants.
Selling gift-wrap or buying cookie dough is a great way to support your local PTA. It does help your school of choice and your school will receive a small financial benefit from each container sold. As a parent supporter, you will receive a non-tax-deductible-glop-of-cookie-dough that remains forever on your hips.
However, a check slipped into it an envelope delivered within your child's backback, can offer more opportunities to the classroom environment than stockpiling ginormous amounts of frozen cookie dough because 100% of your check will go towards funding the classroom experience. 100%--How cool is that?!?!?
Who else benefits from your monetary donations? You do. Not only will you experience the “warm fuzzies” of charitable giving, you will receive a tax benefit at the end of the year. Keep that canceled check (payable to your local PTA) handy and Voila! You will earn a tax benefit because PTA’s are considered a Qualified Organization in the IRS’s eyes.
Help your child receive the classroom opportunities that they deserve TODAY by supporting your local PTA or PTO. No check is too small.