Forced rent tax deduction

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Forced rent tax deduction

Postby kazachka » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:01 am

Hi all. I know this can be done. There are a few teachers at my school who do it but they have their own CPA. What is the name of the form you need to file for the forced housing tax deduction? Extra credit if anyone has a link to that on Turbo Tax since that's how I file. I'd like to keep e-filing as I have been for probably a good 20 some years. I didn't take the deduction last yr and I think I lost money because I didn't know about it until AFTER I filed. Do I need a copy of the school district lease?
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Re: Forced rent tax deduction

Postby Johncn » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:13 pm

Hello,

My wife and I did this our entire careers. We have been retired since before the latest round of tax revisions, so you should check with your district business manager. He or she will likely have had this question from teachers before, and may have a reference sheet or some more recent advice. Some districts are hesitant to make an official statement or take a position, as it is always possible it could act as an audit trigger, or you could have it denied. Others provide a fact sheet for staff on this issue.

Assuming that it is still "a thing", I do know that there are very specific requirements, such as your rent has to be deducted on paycheck (usually the case in rural Alaska), the property has to be either on district property ("campus"), or within a certain radius, I think, of your school or district workplace. So, not every teacher in every rural district automatically qualifies. Many or most did in rural Alaska locations for many years. It all depends on the actual rule parameters, and if there have been changes recently. It is somewhat similar to when a company runs a remote mine, a remote fish processing camp with barracks, an offshore oil field, and so on I'd imagine, where they charge staff each pay period for their temporary housing as part of the condition for employment.

Of course, we aren't accountants, so you really should seek professional CPA advice to be sure. There definitely ARE accountants in Alaska who have many teacher clients, so you should be able to find one who is currently informed.

Here is a thread from 2015 on this topic, but I can't tell you which district the original poster worked for...or guarantee that this is current advice. Your mileage may vary.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1211

Your DO probably has someone on staff who knows the ins and outs for your specific district. I'd start there. Perhaps someone on the ATP forum has a copy of a document their district uses. If so, I can post it here if they send it to me.

Hope this helps,

John
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Re: Forced rent tax deduction

Postby kazachka » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:43 pm

Thanks for the info- very helpful. I am now wondering if the reason our rent was not noted this yr on our W2s was that said deduction became victim of the new tax laws in 2018. Several of us are waiting to hear from the district business manager on this. Teacher housing in this district definitely qualifies-or has always qualified before.
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Re: Forced rent tax deduction

Postby kazachka » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:33 pm

Update-
According to our business manager after doing some digging, it appears the housing deduction (and many others) fell victim to the "brilliant" new tax laws last yr. If someone out there can prove this wrong, please do, but another teacher found out yesterday as well. :( :evil:
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Re: Forced rent tax deduction

Postby brittanytaraba » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:52 pm

We've heard here at my school site that it was one of the things that went away. I'm still going to turn it in to my accountant, but I'm not holding out hope :(
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