Teipen Logo

Did you know….? Educators can deduct out-of-pocket expenses for COVID-19 protective items

Posted on February 20, 2021


No need to do the homework on this new-for-2020 tax deduction! Teipen CPA Group says the IRS has approved tax deductions for COVID-19 protective items that eligible teachers had to purchase to protect themselves and their students.

Rev. Proc. 2021-15, issued by the IRS early this month, provides guidance related to educator expenses under the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020.

Approved COVID-19 protective items include:

  • face masks
  • disinfectant for use against COVID-19
  • hand soap
  • hand sanitizer
  • disposable gloves
  • tape, paint, chalk, or cones to guide social distancing
  • physical barriers (such as plexiglass)
  • air purifiers
  • and other items recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

The new law includes unreimbursed expenses paid or incurred after March 12, 2020. The educator expense deduction rules permit eligible educators to deduct up to $250 of qualifying expenses per year ($500 if married filing jointly and both spouses are eligible educators, but not more than $250 each).

Who qualifies as an eligible educator? Any individual who is a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide in a school for at least 900 hours during a school year.

This deduction is for expenses paid or incurred anytime after 3/1/2020. Taxpayers may claim the deduction on Form 1040, Form 1040-SR or Form 1040-NR.

For more information about these deductions, the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 and other recent tax changes, visit IRS.gov and view Instructions for Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR.

You’ll find Teipen CPA Group tax professionals are up to date and in the know on any question you may have about your tax situation. If we don’t know the specifics of your situation, we can quickly find out and get right back to you.

Ask us for help. That’s why we’re here.