Safe Harbor for Teacher’s Expense Deduction

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 clarifies that the above-the-line deduction for teacher classroom expenses includes personal protective equipment, disinfectant, and other supplies used for the prevention of the spread of COVID–19 paid or incurred after March 12, 2020. The IRS is providing a safe harbor for eligible educators to deduct certain unreimbursed COVID-19-related expenses.

Employees generally cannot deduct unreimbursed business expenses as miscellaneous itemized deductions in tax years 2018 through 2025. Despite this general rule, teachers may be able to treat some of their unreimbursed classroom expenses as an “above the line” deduction from gross income. An eligible educator can deduct up to $250 each year for classroom expenses.

Under the revenue procedure, COVID-19 protective items include:

· 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 (such as 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.

Please call the Crosslin tax team at 615-320-5500 if you have any questions related to the deduction for educator expenses. We encourage teachers to consider tracking their qualified expenses incurred throughout the year. Thank you, teachers, for all that you do!