IRS Says You Can Deduct Cost of Masks, Sanitizer From Taxes
If you stocked up on face masks and hand sanitizer in 2020 to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS has good news: you can deduct those expenses off your tax return this year.
The agency issued a statement in late March saying that the purchase of protective equipment such as masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes are deductible medical expenses as long as they were used for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Because the amounts represent expenses for medical care under the Internal Revenue Code, they are also eligible to be paid or reimbursed under health flexible spending arrangements, Archer medical savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements or health savings accounts (HSAs). However, any amounts that were paid or reimbursed under those plans are not deductible, the IRS said.
Taxpayers will have a little bit more time to put together their returns this year following the IRS’s recent decision to delay the tax filing deadline until May 17 from the normal April 15 deadline.
As reported by CBS News, the delay came after accountants had asked the agency to extend the deadline to help taxpayers deal with coronavirus-related challenges. Many of those challenges extend to the IRS itself, which still faces a backlog of tax returns from last year.
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