If you were one of the lucky ones to find PPE during the course of last year, you might find some savings ahead of May’s tax deadline.
Personal protective equipment including face masks, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes bought to stop the spread of COVID-19 can be deducted as a medical expense when filing taxes, the Internal Revenue Service said on Friday.
The agency made its announcement to clarify the rules surrounding PPE, saying the amounts paid for it are viewed as for medical care under the IRS code. That means purchases of COVID-19 PPE for use by an individual taxpayer, their spouse or dependents that are not covered by insurance can be deducted, so long as total medical expenses exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income.
The IRS says PPE purchases made since January 1, 2020 are eligible.
Purchases of PPE are also eligible to be paid or reimbursed under flexible spending plans and medical savings accounts, but would then not be eligible as a tax deduction, according to the IRS, since such plans and accounts already are typically funded by pre-tax contributions.
The IRS extended the tax filing deadline for the 2020 tax year last week to May 17, 2021. A move that will help taxpayers and those preparing returns understand the “unusual circumstances related to the pandemic,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.