Tax write offs

I recently got certified for CPR, First aid, AED, and Stop the bleed.

I turned in my certificates with my employer, and I’m now a First Responder within my company, meaning someone in the plant calls a code 2 which means somebody needs first aid, and it summons us.

It’s a completely volunteer program so theres no extra benefit to the program to join it, and the company has it’s own first aid room and medical kits.
I put together a first aid kit, so I have what I need during an emergency situation, such as if someone needs CPR I have a CPR mask, blue gloves, if someone is overheating, I have a thermometer to read their body temp, and keep an instant ice pack with microfiber cloths to help cool the person down. Then my basic trauma kit on top of that, packing gauze, tourniquet, pressure bandage, chest seal, and survival blankets.

So the thing is, in order to keep my med kit going, I need to keep extras at home so I can restock and have my med kit for the next emergency. If someone comes up to me and says hey I need something bandaged up, I’ll take them to the first aid room and bandage them up, rather than use my kit.

My supervisor has told me to look into to see if I can write it off on my taxes.

Will I be able to do so?


Call H&R Block. It’s free. :slightly_smiling_face:
We looked into a tax write off years ago when I was doing SAR. In MI. it was a no-go. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
Volunteer being the key word.


I’m not an accountant but it is my understanding that thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that hourly employees can no longer deduct unreimbursed work related expenses.

That really screws over hourly employees like teachers for example who have to buy a lot of their classroom supplies out of their own pocket.


This is the problem your company is using the “med team” as a write off and a insurance reduction. IMO you are benefitting the company by volunteering. Least they could do is buy the extras. I know your heart is in the right place. Glad there are people like you out here working. Ask your tax guy but, I don’t think so because of volunteer.


Doubtful, unless you are required by your employer to provide emergency services and need those supplies to do your job. If so, then it may be more important to be sure you are covered by personal liability insurance. I’ve always carried an umbrella policy, but doubt that it would cover actions at work. For that, be sure that your employer has insurance to cover your first aid actions.


The short answer is no. Wife and I have owned and own several companies. Write offs have to go against income/revenues.

Example: I bought a pencil, then I used it to draw a picture, then I sold the picture and reported the revenue as income. THEN, I can write off the pencil.

Since you have no revenues derived from the activity there is no write off you can take and you can’t call it a donation since your company is not a charity. Sorry.


I would also check with a lawyer because by you could be exposing yourself to massive personal liability by treating someone medically. It’s highly dependent on your state laws.

Quite frankly I think your employer is taking advantage of you by shedding his own responsibility on to a good hearted person without compensation or corporate protection, and if anything happens you are on your own.


IMO, your employer should not be relying on you for this. If it is not required by the job, I don’t think it can be considered a write-off, but you should verify with a CPA. If anything, you might try to work with your company’s first aid room staff for mobile supplies, or/and help monitor their inventory to ensure they are always supplied (particularly if you are using their supplies for your mobile kit). Even if your “kit” is better, it might or might not comply with standard protocols and training that have been approved by a legal team.

It’s been decades since I had my EMT Basic, but it was drilled into my head (by the paramedics that trained me and that I volunteered with) that with the EMT Certification you now have a higher standard for care and competency which might or might not reduce protection related to the Good Samaritan laws in your state… not to mention the directives and priorities related to treatment for a first responder vs strategies for ongoing care from an advanced care facility.


I didn’t have any emt certifications. Just my basic CPR and stop the bleed.

Enzo is correct on both counts. No, you may not write it off as a tax deduction unless you are earning (and reporting) income from it. Even then, unless you’re self-employed, your options for what you can write off are limited. Your employer, on the other hand, can and should be buying these supplies for you — they can write them off.

While I support your desire to help others in a tough situation, if you’re doing so at work, your company needs to be liable, not you. If their insurance doesn’t cover the liability of medical emergencies, you have two options. Either buy your own insurance, or insist that your boss buy it for you (which they should anyway). Technically you have the third option of not doing anything if a situation were to happen, but I get the feeling you’re not the kind of person who can look the other way.

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