Good news for teachers paying out of pocket for classroom supplies! A new tax credit is now available to teachers (and qualifying early childhood educators working in a regulated child care facility) to help defray the cost of classroom supplies borne by the educator.
Examples of qualifying supplies include:
- Games, puzzles, and books
- Containers (e.g. Rubbermaid totes or banker’s boxes)
- Educational software
- Art supplies
- Stationery (pens/pencils, flashcards, paper, etc.)
- Items for science experiments
Other classroom items, such as computer hardware, furniture, carpeting, etc. are NOT eligible for the credit.
Teachers who have purchased qualifying materials for use in the school will be eligible for a 15% tax credit on the first $1,000 of purchases, provided that:
- The supplies are used directly in the classroom;
- The supplies are used for the purpose of teaching or facilitating students’ learning; and
- The teacher was not reimbursed for the cost
This credit is available effective 2016-onwards, and is based on purchases made during the calendar year (not the school year), regardless of when the supplies are actually used.
Mr. Smith purchased $50 worth of qualifying supplies in April, 2016 for a class science project. In September, he spent $50 on new art supplies for classroom use. He used his own money for the purchases, and will not be reimbursed. Mr. Smith can therefore claim a total credit of $100 when he files his 2016 personal tax return, for an effective refund of $15 ($100 x 15% = $15).
In order to support the claim, teachers must retain receipts supporting the amount paid AND provide written certification from their employer (e.g. the school principal) confirming the expenses; receipts alone will not be enough for CRA to accept the claim should they ask for support.
Further details, including a summary of what should be included on the employer’s certification letter, can be found here
As always, feel free to contact us directly should you have any questions or concerns regarding this or any other matter.