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Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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I work at a school and I buy items [whistles, stickers, ear

Resolved Question:

I work at a school and I buy items [whistles, stickers, ear plugs (for a child with sensory issues) as well as a blanket for him while he's under my supervision on the playground] to use while I supervise the children on the playground. Are these items tax deductible and if so how do I claim them, being a noon duty assistant not a teacher.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 7 years ago.
Hello lamill,

You may deduct unreimbursed employee expenses for expenses that you incur for items that are ordinary and necessary in your line of work. The items you purcahse do not necessarily need to be required by your employer. They just need to be helpful to you in your line of work. That being the case, I would say that these expenses qualify to be deducted. Teachers who purchase school supplies and teaching aids for their classrooms are allowed to deduct those expenses, so these would fall in that same category.

However, in order to take advantage of deducting unreimbursed employee expenses, you must itemize your deductions. If you claim the standard deduction, then these expenses could not be deducted. If you do itemize your deductions, then unreimbursed employee expenses fall in a category which are subject to a 2% limitation. What that means is that any expenses you have must first exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income before any excess expenses could be deducted on your return.

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Thank you lamill and let me know if you have more questions.

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