Eligible educators can deduct up to $250 of qualified expenses paid in 2011. If the taxpayer and spouse are both eligible educators, they can deduct up to $500, but neither can deduct more than their own expenses up to $250. Any expenses exceeding $250 for either spouse may be treated as an itemized employment-related deduction on Schedule A.
At this point in the interview, you will know if the taxpayer and/or spouse are educators. Probe a little deeper to see if they qualify for this adjustment. Ask questions such as: