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

Posted at 8:15 PM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 21:15:44-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The IRS says eligible educators can deduct their unreimbursed expenses for COVID-19 protective items to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the classroom.

In a statement, the government agency states 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.

The new law clarifies that unreimbursed expenses paid or incurred after March 12, 2020, by eligible educators for protective items to stop the spread of COVID-19 qualify for the educator expense deduction.

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).

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.