How to Deduct Face Masks and Sanitizer Expense


Coronavirus has spread worldwide, and it has become common to wear masks and use hand sanitizer to prevent infection. When the COVID-19 began to spread, it was really hard to find masks and hand sanitizer everywhere, but recently there are enough stock in every shop.

As of March 26, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the cost of purchasing masks and sanitizer to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus Disease can be treated as a medical expense deduction.

IRS Announcement 2021-7

How to Treat It As a Medical Expense Deduction

Products purchased after January 1, 2020 are eligible, and there are two ways to treat them as medical expense deductions.

Report As A Part of Itemized Deductions on Tax Return

Now, the cost of purchasing masks and sanitizer can be treated as qualified medical expenses on your tax return.

Qualified medical expenses are medical expenses that are deductible if the medical expense exceeds 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. In order to be considered as qualified medical expenses, the purchasing should not be refunded by your employer or insurance company.

Make the Payment through Tax-Free Medical Account

If your employer offers a tax-free accounts for medical expenses, such as the Health Flexible Spending Accounts (Health FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA), you can use the fund to pay the cost of purchasing masks and sanitizer.


Please note that the purchase cost of face masks and sanitizer is not qualified as medical expense deduction in Japan at this point although it is tax deductible in the United States.