PPE is deductible, says IRS

Accounting

Face masks and other personal protective equipment to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are now federally deductible.

The new IRS Announcement 2021-7 (1) clarifies that the purchase of such personal protective equipment as masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19 are deductible medical expenses.

Specifically, money spent by individual taxpayers on PPE are treated as amounts paid for medical care under Sec. 213(d), which means that, if a taxpayer’s total medical expenses exceed 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income, they can deducted anything spent for PPE by themselves, their spouse or their dependents that isn’t covered by insurance.

The amounts paid for personal protective equipment are also eligible to be paid or reimbursed under health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs), Archer medical savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements or health savings accounts).

A worker sprays sanitizer into the hands of a shopper at a supermarket in May.

Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

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