Medical Device Tax


The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) imposed a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices, to be paid by medical products manufacturers, producers, and importers. A two-year moratorium on the tax began in January 2018 and will expire December 31, 2019. HIDA supports the permanent repeal of the tax. The tax applies to all regulated Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Class I, Class II, and Class III medical devices, with the exception of those products, “determined by the Secretary to be of a type which his generally purchased by the general public at retail for individual use,” including eye glasses, contacts, and hearing aids.

What Members Need to Know

In addition to supporting a renewed moratorium and ultimately full repeal, HIDA supports the Internal Revenue Service’s final regulation which included many changes important to HIDA members – specifically, the retail exemption. The exemption reduces some of the burden faced by the supply chain industry, such as: • The inclusion of medical supply stores and specialty medical stores in the definition of retail.
• Deeming purchases made by consumers via the internet or over the phone as retail.
• The acceptances of further examples of products that meet the retail exemption criteria, thereby providing additional insight into how the agency expands manufacturers to make determinations.

“Convenience kits” that include various medical products in a single package were source of confusion when the law was first enacted. The IRS released Interim Guidance clarifying that while domestically assembled convenience kits are exempt from the medical device tax, imported convenience kits are subject to the device tax – but only the amount allocable to the individual taxable medical devices within the kit.


As part of a deal to fund the Government, Congress extended the moratorium on the 2.3% excise tax on medical devices for 2018 and 2019. Unless further congressional action is taken, the tax is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2020. Bipartisan support for the permanent repeal of the tax still exists and HIDA Government Affairs is working with congressional partners to advocate for permanent relief from the tax.

HIDA Member Resources

Additional Resources