Congressman Tim Ryan Announces New Tax Deduction for Educators’ Unreimbursed COVID-19 Expenses | Congressman Tim Ryan
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Congressman Tim Ryan Announces New Tax Deduction for Educators’ Unreimbursed COVID-19 Expenses

February 5, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) is announcing that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is now allowing eligible educators to deduct unreimbursed expenses for COVID-19 protective items to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the classroom. The change was enacted as part of the Fiscal Year 2021 Omnibus Appropriations Act passed in December of 2019, which Ryan supported.

“As the husband of a public school teacher, I know firsthand everything our educators put into their jobs year in and year out, and COVID-19 has only made things more difficult. While I know there is nothing we can do to fully thank educators for what they give back to our communities, I am pleased that we were able to pass this measure to help cover some of the out of pocket expenses they have had to incur to protect themselves and their students from COVID-19,” said Congressman Ryan.

The educator expense deduction rules permit eligible educators to deduct up to $250 of qualifying expenses per year ($500 if married filing jointly and both spouses are eligible educators, but not more than $250 each).

According to the IRS, COVID-19 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 (for example, clear plexiglass);
  • Air purifiers; and
  • Other items recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be used for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

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.