Don’t overlook medical expenses that can qualify as deductions
Mar 05, 2014 | 1022 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print

DALLAS – Medical deductions can be new to some taxpayers. If you paid for medical and dental care for yourself, your spouse or dependents last year, you may be eligible for some deductions.


“Changes in life’s circumstances can mean you need to take a fresh look at your tax situation every year,” said Clay Sanford, an IRS spokesman in Dallas.  “You can only claim your medical and dental expenses if you itemize deductions on your federal tax return--you can’t claim these expenses if you take the standard deduction.”


For years beginning after December 31, 2012, you may deduct only the amount by which your total medical expenses exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income or 7.5% if you or your spouse is 65 or older. The 7.5% limitation is a temporary exemption from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2016, for individuals age 65 and older and their spouses. You figure the amount you are allowed to deduct on Form 1040, Schedule A.


Deductible medical expenses may include but are not limited to:


•Payments of fees to doctors, dentists, surgeons, chiropractors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and nontraditional medical practitioners


•Payments for in-patient hospital care or nursing home services, including the cost of meals and lodging charged by the hospital or nursing home


•Payments for acupuncture treatments or inpatient treatment at a center for alcohol or drug addiction, for participation in a smoking-cessation program and for drugs to alleviate nicotine withdrawal that require a prescription


•Payments to participate in a weight-loss program for a specific disease or diseases, including obesity, diagnosed by a physician but not ordinarily, payments for diet food items or the payment of health club dues


•Payments for insulin and payments for drugs that require a prescription


•Payments for admission and transportation to a medical conference relating to a chronic disease that you, your spouse, or your dependents have (if the costs are primarily for and essential to necessitated medical care). However, you may not deduct the costs for meals and lodging while attending the medical conference


•Payments for false teeth, reading or prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, hearing aids, crutches, wheelchairs, and for guide dogs for the blind or deaf


•Payments for transportation primarily for and essential to medical care that qualify as medical expenses, such as, payments of the actual fare for a taxi, bus, train, or ambulance or for medical transportation by personal car, the amount of your actual out-of-pocket expenses such as for gas and oil, or the amount of the standard mileage rate for medical expenses, plus the cost of tolls and parking fees


“Be sure to keep good records for all your medical expenses,” Sanford added.  “Keep records including the name and address of each medical care provider you paid, and the amount and date of each payment.”


Sanford also stressed to keep statements or itemized invoices showing a description of the medical care received, who received the care and the nature and purpose of the medical expenses.


See IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses, for more information.  It’s available online at or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM.



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