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Union dues deductible on state taxes, not on federal taxes

Check with tax preparers for advice when completing your return

The union dues paid in 2018 are no longer deductible on miscellaneous deductions for federal taxes.

However, the state of Hawaii will continue allowing union dues to be deducted from taxes.

The state's official tax instruction book confirms union dues can still be deducted from state taxes, subject to itemizing and if your miscellaneous deductions exceed two percent of your income. (See page 20 of the state of Hawaii tax instruction book here.)

Because of numerous tax changes, the best advice the HSTA can give our members is to seek professional advice when completing their tax returns. Since we are not tax experts, we need to defer to the tax professionals on these kinds of questions.

The dues amounts for HSTA/NEA bargaining unit 5 members (teachers) who had continuous payroll deductions for the entire year in 2018 are:

Full-time: $806.32

Half-time: $722.84

If you became an HSTA member part way through 2018, please contact the HSTA at (808) 833-2711 and ask for the Membership Department. Tell them you need them to calculate the specific amount of dues you paid last year.

The IRS did not touch the deduction of teachers’ educational expenses. So those kinds of expenses continue to be an “above the line” deduction meaning that you can deduct this amount before computing your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). That means teachers can still deduct up to $250 from their federal taxes for classroom expenses, provided they have original receipts from those expenses.

For calendar year 2017, the dues amounts for HSTA/NEA bargaining unit 5 members (teachers) who had continuous payroll deductions for the entire year were:

Full-time: $774.86

Half-time: $692.54

For calendar year 2016, the dues amounts for HSTA/NEA bargaining unit 5 members (teachers) who had continuous payroll deductions for the entire year were:

Full-time: $763.64

Half-time: $682.32

If there was any break in payroll, please call the HSTA at (808) 833-2711 and ask for the Membership Department. Tell them you need them to calculate the specific amount of dues you paid in that year because you were not a member for the entire calendar year.

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Author: Keoki Kerr
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