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.

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.

More terms