Teachers affected by end of year tax break cuts

Updated: 12/28/2013 11:12 PM
Created: 12/28/2013 7:55 PM WHEC.com
By: Chalonda Roberts

School teachers may soon be losing a tax break on the out of pocket money spent on classroom supplies.

Credits and deductions benefiting everyone from teachers and students, to homeowners, are scheduled to expire at the end of the year, unless Congress extends them.

Many of them have been extended in the past, so it's possible congress could extend them again over the next few months, but that could be too late.

News10NBC spoke to some school teachers who take advantage of the tax break every year. The credit amounts to $250.

Chris Widmeyer has been teaching science for nine years. He said every year he digs into his own pocket to buy lab supplies.

“A lot of it is just that there are things I need and if I don't get them, there is no way I can do the job as well as I do,” said  Widmeyer.
Widmeyer says he doesn't mind spending the money, because he deducts it from his taxes to help to cushion the blow.

Tiffany Speck does the same thing. This is her second year teaching. So far, she has spent $500  of her own money. Both Widmeyer and Speck count on the tax break, however the deduction may disappear at the end of the year if Congress does not extend it.

“It's unfortunate, because as teachers in public schools we're public servants, so it's something. We are using that money for the good of our students and the good of the community,” said Widmeyer.

Speck says if the tax break is eliminated, she will have to limit her spending

“I think I'll think twice about what it is I am purchasing, look at the expense and see how much I do need it for teaching and my classroom,” said Speck.

Widmeyer says with or without the tax credit, he will continue to spend whatever it takes to get the job done.

“A lot of it is things I don't really have a choice for, and I weigh the cost financially against the benefit to my students, and a lot of times the benefits to my students outweighs the cost financially,” he said.

As we mentioned, teachers are not the only people who will be affected. Parents and students paying for college could lose up to $4,000 in tax credit. For anyone making energy-efficient  home improvements, this year may be your last chance to get a credit of up to $500. Also, homeowners might not be able to deduct mortgage insurance premiums.
 in 2010.

An accountant News10NBC spoke with Saturday said he thinks the tax breaks will be extended for next year, but it's all up to Congress. He said we have to wait until they meet in January to see what happens, but meanwhile he says it better to be safe than sorry.

There are other popular tax breaks set to expire. For more information, click here.


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