May 3, 2021 10:46 pm

PPE Is a Deductible Medical Expense

The IRS announced that the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) purchased for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a deductible medical expense (Ann. 2021-7). PPE includes masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes. This means the expenses can be deducted by those who itemize, to the extent total out-of-pocket medical expenses exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income.

PPE is also treated as a reimbursable expense for purposes of:

  • Health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs)
  • Health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs)
  • Health savings accounts (HSAs)
  • Archer medical savings accounts (Archer MSAs)
  • Any other health plans

Note: Employers maintaining such plans that want to provide reimbursements dating back to January 1, 2020, must amend their plans to allow for this action.

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Tax Glossary

Accelerated depreciation

Depreciation methods that allow faster write-offs than straight-line rates in the earlier periods of the useful life of an asset. For example, in the first few years of recovery, MACRS allows a 200% double declining balance write-off, twice the straight-line rate.

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