Thursday, March 15, 2012

DonorsChoose Matching!

If you are someone who donates on or are someone who has thought about it, you should definitely find a project to donate to before March 19th. Until then all cash donations are being doubled!

Once you put in your donation it will ask for a code to match the donation. The code is: BLOOM.

I recently had a project funded way faster than normal and didn't get a chance to utilize the matching. With absolutely no complaints on my end, I decided to toss a few bucks at some other projects to make use of the effort. The big one I gave to is "I am a History Expert! I have a Button to Prove it!" out of Topeka, Kansas. I also own a button maker and think this project is fantastic.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Death and Taxes and Classroom Expenses

In my classroom there are actually three things that are certain: death, taxes, and the fact that in my profession my expenses are oftentimes paid for out of my own pocket.

This afternoon I did my taxes. Legally I am only allowed to claim $250 in classroom expenses on my tax return, while in reality this past year I spent over $600 on "classroom supplies". In a more sobering dose of reality, I actually spent over $2,000 dollars on my classroom, but most of it couldn't be considered deductible.

Furthermore, I spent about $2,200 in deductible travel expenses, bringing myself to a national and international conference for rather valuable professional development. Those again were only the costs that were eligible to written off, but there were certainly other costs associated with those trips that I didn't bring up to the IRS.

In many other (but of course not all) professions with which I come into contact in this fair city, all of these expenses and more are covered by the employer. While my benefits and retirement basically make me one of the richest men in America, it's fairly frustrating that I can't at least write off more of my expenses.

Of course, if I were able to others would be able to and people would abuse it and not pay their fair share of taxes and blah blah blah blah. I have met teachers who try to write off basically every dollar they spend, which is wrong.

It's a concern. Of course, folks like Mitt Romney paying a lower percentage of his annual income in taxes than I do and others who make as much as me do is also a concern... to some people.