22 Tax Write-Offs for Freelance Teachers & Tutors

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Whether you teach online or in person, your day's spent helping others learn. So you might not want to spend your after-school hours teaching yourself how to file your self-employment taxes. We're here to help make the learning curve a little less steep with a list of common write-offs for independent teachers and tutors.

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From classroom supplies (including virtual backdrops if you teach online!) to the cost of flying to an out-of-town education conference, there's a long list of deductions you can claim to save money on your taxes.

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Classroom decorations
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

Decorations to make your classroom (or filming backdrop) learning-friendly are tax write-offs.

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Teaching props
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 22

Deduct any props you use during lessons to help students understand concepts.

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Student rewards
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 22

From gold stars to bigger prizes, rewards for student achievements can be deducted.

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Electronic devices
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 18

Computers, extra monitors, webcams, and microphones needed to teach are write-offs.

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Education software
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 18

Turnitin, Copyscape, or other software you use to grade papers or teach can be written off.

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Phone & accessories
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

Part of your actual phone's cost, monthly phone bill, and any accessories you use for work can be written off.

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If you drive for work ...

As a teacher, you might spend school nights or weekends picking up classroom and office materials or driving to and from school.

If that's the case, you can write off vehicle-related expenses.

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Parking
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

Parking for a meeting downtown, or any other work trip, is tax-deductible!

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Tolls
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

A toll while driving to or from a work destination is tax-deductible!

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Car purchase & depreciation
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 13

If you buy a new car, you can write off part of the cost every year for five years.

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Vehicle tool kit
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 22

Flashlights, tire iron, duct tape, and other tools you may need in your vehicle are deductible.

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Car insurance & registration
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 15

Car insurance monthly fees, registration, even roadside assistance are partially deductible.

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Car maintenance
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 9

Oil changes, repairs, and regular checkups are all tax-deductible if you drive for work.

If you discuss work at a restaurant ...

If the purpose is to talk about work, meeting with an administrator, fellow teacher, or student's parents at a restaurant counts as a business meal. So you can deduct the costs on your Schedule C.

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Business meals
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 24b

If you discuss work with a coworker, mentor, client, or prospective client, it's a write-off!

If you leave town for work ...

If you get hired for a short-term teaching gig abroad, or attend a teaching conference in a different city, you can claim business trip expenses.

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Transportation
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 24a

Planes, trains, and car rentals are all work-related travel costs that can be written off.

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Travel lodging
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 24a

When you travel for work, lodging expenses such as hotel rooms or Airbnb are write offs.

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Meals while traveling
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 24a

When you're traveling for work, all meals are tax-deductible. Even takeout!

If you work from home ...

Whether you teach virtually on a full-time basis or take care of extracurricular tasks from an at-home workspace, like grading papers or lesson planning, you can write home office deductions off on your Schedule C.

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Home office furniture
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 18

A desk, chairs, lamps, and other home office necessities are all tax write-offs.

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Property repairs
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 21

You can write off up to $2,500 for individual repairs to your property.

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Power bill
Write it off using:

Form 8829

Gotta keep the lights on in your home office! A portion of your electricity bill counts.

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Property insurance
Write it off using:

Form 8829

Whether it's rental or homeowners insurance, you can write off a portion through your home office deduction.

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Water bill
Write it off using:

Form 8829

It'd be hard to work in an office without running water, huh? You water bill counts.

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Wi-Fi bill
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 25

Your Comcast bill is a tax write-off. You need internet to do your job!