Can you write off PPE gear this tax season? Experts say it depends what your job is

Not everyone had the benefit of working remotely during the pandemic.
Be prepared for a unique tax season
Posted at 11:30 AM, Mar 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-01 15:24:53-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Tax season is upon us and this time around there are a few extra things to consider before filing.

Not everyone had the benefit of working remotely during the pandemic. Plenty of workers spent money on personal protective equipment, or PPE, and other gear, just so they could work safely at the office.

Tax experts say there's one question they've been getting a lot from filers: Can workers write off expenses for items that protected them from getting sick? Tax analysts say for most people, the answer is no, you're not able to use that as a deduction.

Turns out, items like masks and hand sanitizer can't be written off unless a person is self-employed, or a teacher.
There is a provision under the second Coronavirus Relief Package that allows teachers to include personal protective equipment in their deduction, but the rest of the workforce can't deduct those items.

One expert says workers might be able to deduct COVID-19 tests.

"You may be able to if you incurred expenses, medical expenses related to the pandemic," said Nathan Rigney, in an interview with our affiliate Newsy.

Rigney is a Principal Tax Research Analyst for H & R Block. "You can deduct those as medical expenses if you itemize and you meet the threshold," he said.

Tax returns for the majority of Americans are due by April 15. Last month, the IRS granted an extension for all individuals and businesses operating in Texas and counties in nearby states declared disaster areas by FEMA because of winter storms.

This story originally reported by Renae Skinner on

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If you’re wondering how you’re affected, not to worry, we have your back. We’re doing the work to make sure our products are up to date and that you can use them to file your taxes with complete confidence.

That said, many folks are wondering what’s in the bill and how it might affect them. Here’s a recap of some of the major tax provisions in the new tax bill and how they may impact you.

Increased Standard Deduction: The new tax law nearly doubles the standard deduction amount. Single taxpayers will see their standard deductions jump from $6,350 for 2017 taxes to $12,000 for 2018 taxes (the ones you file in 2019). Married couples filing jointly see an increase from $12,700 to $24,000. These increases mean that fewer people will have to itemize. Today, roughly 30% of taxpayers itemize. Under the new law, this percentage is expected to decrease.

Increased Child Tax Credit: For, families with children the Child Tax Credit is doubled from $1,000 per child to $2,000. In addition, the amount that is refundable grows from $1,100 to $1,400. The bill also adds a new, non-refundable credit of $500 for dependents other than children. Finally, it raises the income threshold at which these benefits phase out from $110,000 for a married couple to $400,000.

Personal and Dependent Exemptions: The bill eliminates the personal and dependent exemptions which were $4,050 for 2017 and increased to $4,150 in 2018. State and local taxes/Home mortgages: The bill limits the amount of state and local property, income, and sales taxes that can be deducted to $10,000. In the past, these taxes have generally been fully tax deductible. The bill also caps the amount of mortgage indebtedness on new home purchases on which interest can be deducted at $750,000 down from $1,000,000 in current law.

Health Care: The bill eliminates the tax penalty for not having health insurance after December 31, 2018. It also temporarily lowers the floor above which out-of-pocket medical expenses can be deducted from the current law floor of 10% to 7.5% for 2017 and 2018. So for 2018, you can deduct medical expenses that are more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income as opposed to the higher 10%.

Fastax Has You Covered

Don’t worry about memorizing these tax changes the majority of which are for 2018 taxes that you file in 2019. Fastax has you covered and will be up to date with the latest tax laws. Call us for tax help at 661 493-8512