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Medical Expenses and Schedule A

Posted by Traci A. Malik Posted on Mar 06 2017

To begin deducting your medical expenses, you first must know which expenses are deductible. The IRS lets you deduct medical costs on your tax return as long as they are more than 10% of your adjusted gross income. (Taxpayers who are 65 or older can still use the previous 7.5% threshold to claim itemized medical expenses through the 2016 tax year.) It may seem unattainable at first glance, but with a little digging you might just meet it.


Medical and dental bills for you, your spouse and your dependents count toward the allowable deduction limit, so keep a list of the medical expenses of everyone listed on your tax return.


Deductible Expenses

Here’s a partial list of deductible expenses:


    •    Equipment and supplies

    •    Dental services

    •    Co Pays

    •    Medical treatments and laboratory tests

    •    Nursing services

    •    Hospital services

    •    Insurance premiums

    •    Medically necessary home renovations prescribed by a doctor


Often-overlooked medical deductions:

    •    Travel expenses to and from medical treatments

    •    Insurance payments from already-taxed income

    •    Uninsured medical treatments

    •    Costs of alcohol or drug-abuse treatments

    •    Laser vision corrective surgery

    •    Medically necessary costs prescribed by a physician

    •    Some medical conference costs

    •    Long term care premiums


Nondeductible Expenses

These medical expenses are not deductible:

    •    Certain expenses for children – If your baby is healthy, you can’t deduct babysitting fees, even if the babysitting allows you or your spouse to receive medical treatment. Maternity clothes are also not deductible. If You or your child take dance or swim lessons to improve overall mental and physical wellbeing, you can’t deduct the cost of lessons and transportation.

    •    Cosmetic surgery and services – Any procedure that is deemed cosmetic is not deductible. This includes breast augmentations, liposuctions and “tummy tucks.” Both in office and at-home teeth whitening products and services are cosmetic and not deductible.

    •    Memberships – Memberships and dues to gyms, health clubs and other health programs are not deductible. If you join a weight loss program not prescribed by a physician, you can’t deduct registration or membership fees.

For more information about what the IRS will and won't allow you to count toward your medical deductions, check out Publication 502. You might find a few things there that apply to you -- maybe just enough to get you over that 10% deduction hurdle.