Educators can now deduct out-of-pocket expenses for COVID-19 protective items

On February 4, 2021, the IRS announced (Rev. Proc. 2021-15 PDF) that eligible educators can deduct unreimbursed expenses for COVID-19 protective items to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the classroom.

Eligible COVID-19 protective items include, but are not limited to:

  • face masks
  • disinfectant for use against COVID-19
  • hand soap
  • hand sanitizer
  • disposable gloves
  • tape, paint or chalk to guide social distancing
  • physical barriers (for example, clear plexiglass)
  • air purifiers
  • other items recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be used for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

Eligible educators include 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 during the tax year.

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). Taxpayers claim the deduction on Form 1040Form 1040-SR or Form 1040-NR (attach Schedule 1 (Form 1040)  PDF).


Have additional questions? Contact your local Suttle & Stalnaker office.