March 1, 2021 9:15 pm

Teachers May Deduct COVID-19 Protection Items

Teachers who are not reimbursed for the cost they incurred after March 12, 2020, for personal protective equipment, disinfectant, and other supplies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the classroom can deduct it up to $250 (Rev. Proc. 2021-15). If two teachers are married filing jointly, they can claim a total write-off of up to $500, but no more than $250 of costs for each. The deduction is “above-the-line,” so no itemizing is required.

Eligible 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 used to guide social distancing
  • Physical barriers (e.g., 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

Note: The cost of such items is in addition to regular classroom-related expenses, such as books, supplies (other than nonathletic supplies for courses of instruction in health or physical education), computer equipment (including related software and services), other equipment, and supplementary materials used in the classroom. However, the dollar limit applies to the total of all eligible items, COVID-19-related or not.

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Tax Glossary

Provisional income

If your provisional income exceeds a base amount, part of your Social Security benefits may be subject to tax.

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