ppe tax


Don’t forget to write off PPE and hand sanitizer this year

COVID-19 defense is now tax-deductible.


Jaime Carrillo

Dot Recs

Posted on Apr 13, 2021

April has once again reared its head, and you know what that means: tax time. Reliving 2020, even if it’s only on paper, could be jarring for many. But there’s at least one plus side. The IRS has officially deemed hand sanitizer and PPE tax-deductible. 

It makes complete sense. After all, high-quality PPE, disinfecting wipes, and hand sanitizer are the best lines of defense against COVID-19. Of course, this is the IRS we’re talking about, so even boons must be clarified. 

PPE tax and hand sanitizer IRS rules: A primer

  • PPE, including face masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes, can be deducted as a medical expense from 2020 taxes.
  • Purchases made for a spouse or dependents that are not covered by insurance can be deducted when total medical expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income. 
  • PPE purchases are also eligible to be paid for or reimbursed under medical savings accounts or flexible spending plans. Since pre-tax contributions typically fund those plans, they would be ineligible for tax deduction.

Last year, you may have struggled to identify the necessary COVID-19 defense-related purchases. Experts went back and forth on recommendations. Information moved quickly. Luckily, those in the know are more or less on the same page when it comes to what makes for good COVID-19 defense, and what doesn’t. 

We know now that high-quality surgical masks are the most prudent choice for most Americans. We recommend the surgical masks and kid’s face masks made by Austin-based manufacturer Armbrust USA. These masks have the coveted ASTM Level 3 rating, are hypoallergenic, and even made in the USA. They also offer 99.2% bacterial and particle filtration.

Better yet, Armbrust offers a subscription model which allows you to save 30 percent with every monthly order. This applies to 50, 100, 500, and even 2,000-count boxes. This opens up a wide world of tax savings for small businesses. Offering masks to both customers and employees alike isn’t just good business, but it’s economically smart too considering the new tax rules. 

If you’re a teacher, you’re likely already writing off supplies for your classroom. Now that you can write off PPE and hand sanitizer, you can offer the best in COVID-19 defense to all your students as schools start to open up around the country. This includes adult-sized masks, as well as the new child-sized masks Armbrust offers. 

For more information on IRS PPE tax rules, visit the official website here

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*First Published: Apr 13, 2021, 9:30 am CDT