Covid masks and hand sanitizer can get you a tax break, IRS says

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Americans can get a tax break this filing season for masks, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes and other personal protective equipment to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the IRS announced Friday.

The tax code lets taxpayers deduct medical costs that exceed 7.5% of their adjusted gross income each year. The IRS is counting costs incurred for PPE as a medical expense that qualifies for the tax break.

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For example, individuals with $100,000 of income in 2020 can deduct medical costs of more than $7,500 from their tax bill. You need to itemize on your taxes to take advantage of this.

Expenses reimbursed by insurance aren’t eligible.

PPE costs are eligible to be paid or reimbursed in certain tax-preferred medical accounts, the IRS said. They include health savings accounts, health flexible spending accounts, Archer medical savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements. Taxpayers typically have 2½ months after the year ends to spend unused FSA funds. The December relief law lets employers extend that grace period up to 12 months.

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