Many deductions taken directly from gross income in arriving at adjusted gross income are deducted on Form 1040 schedules devoted to a specific activity, such as business deductions claimed on Schedule C (Chapter 40), capital losses claimed on Schedule D (Chapter 5), and real estate rental expenses claimed on Schedule E (Chapter 9).
Other expenses are claimed directly from gross income on page 1 of Form 1040 or Form 1040A in figuring adjusted gross income. On Form 1040, these deductions, claimed on Lines 23–36, are referred to as “above-the-line” deductions, as they reduce total (gross) income shown on Line 22 regardless of whether itemized deductions are claimed. On Form 1040A, only a few deductions are allowed in figuring adjusted gross income: traditional IRA deductions, student loan interest, and, if allowed by Congress for 2012, educator expenses and tuition and fees.
The above-the-line deductions for educator expenses and tuition and fees expired at the end of 2011, and legislation to extend the deductions to 2012 had not yet been enacted when this book went to press, but an extension was still expected; see the e-Supplement at jklasser.com for an update. Assuming there is an extension, the following rules will apply on 2012 returns:
If you were a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide in a private ...