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 1040, Form 1040-SR or Form 1040-NR (attach Schedule 1 (Form 1040) PDF).
Have additional questions? Contact your local Suttle & Stalnaker office.