Educators can deduct expenses related to Covid-19 prevention

Classrooms have never looked more different than they have this past year. The Covid era has pushed many classrooms online, and those that are still open to students are outfitted with extra hand sanitizer, masks, physical barriers and more.

Eligible educators can now deduct unreimbursed expenses for Covid-19 protective items to help stop the spread of the disease in the classroom.

The 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 (e.g., clear plexiglass);
  • Air purifiers; and
  • Other items recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be used for the prevention of the spread of the coronavirus.

According to the IRS, unreimbursed expenses paid or incurred after March 12, 2020, by eligible educators for protective items qualify for the educator expense deduction. The rules permit educators to deduct up to $250 of qualifying expenses per year. 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.

Please let your tax manager know if you or your spouse is an educator who incurred unreimbursed expenses related to protecting the classroom against the spread of Covid-19.

Kristy Gailey is a Supervisor on our Business & Tax Advisory Group. She can be reached at kgailey@antarescpas.com.