April 17, 2014 at 12:00 PM •
Written by: PeopleKeep Team
If you or your clients paid a lot for health care in the last year, many of those expenses could qualify as a deduction from your taxable income on Form 1040, Schedule A. Use this checklist to determine which medical expenses you can take as a deduction on your income tax return.
Medical Expense Deduction Tips
You have to itemize deductions to claim these expenses.
Medical expenses are only deductible to the extent that they exceed 10% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). If your AGI is $75,000, for example, the first $7,500 of qualified expenses (10% of $75,000) don’t really count for deduction purposes.
However, if you're older than 65 years old there is a temporary exemption to the 10% rate. If you or your spouse are 65 years or older, or turned 65 during the tax year, you are allowed to deduct unreimbursed medical care expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. The threshold remains at 7.5% of AGI for those taxpayers until Dec. 31, 2016.
Medical Expenses Deductions Checklist
The IRS offers a list for qualified medical expenses. We've included a partial list of qualified medical expenses below. For the complete list, see IRS Publication 502.
Air conditioner necessary for relief from allergies or other respiratory problems (less any increase in the value of your home resulting from the installation of air conditioning)
Alcoholism treatment, including inpatient treatment, meals, and lodging at a therapeutic center for alcohol addiction
Birth control pills prescribed by a doctor
Braille books and magazines used by a visually impaired person
Contact lenses, including equipment and materials for using contacts
Doctor or physician expenses
Drug addiction treatment, including in-patient treatment, meals, and lodging at a therapeutic center for drug addiction
Elastic hosiery to treat blood circulation problems
Exercise program if a doctor has recommended it as treatment for a specific condition
Eye surgery, such as Lasik or a similar procedure, when it is not for cosmetic purposes only
Guide dog or other animal used by a visually-impaired, hearing-impaired, or otherwise physically disabled person
Household help for nursing care services only
Insurance premiums for medical care coverage
Lead-based paint removal, including the cost of removing lead-based paints from surfaces when a child has lead poisoning or was previously diagnosed with lead poisoning. (Does not include the cost of repainting.)
Legal fees paid to authorize treatment for mental illness
Lifetime care advance payments
Lodging expenses while away from home to receive medical care in a hospital or medical facility
Long-term care insurance and long-term care expenses (there are limitations to what you can deduct)
Mattresses and boards bought specifically to alleviate an arthritic condition
Medical aids, including wheelchairs, hearing aids and batteries, eyeglasses, contact lenses, crutches, braces, and guide dogs (and their care)
Medicines and drugs
Nursing home expenses, including the entire cost of medical care, plus meals and lodging if the main reason for being in the home is to obtain medical care
Oxygen and oxygen equipment
Special education tuition for sending a mentally impaired or physically disabled person to a special school that has resources to relieve the disability
Smoking cessation programs (does not have to be recommended by a physician)
Swimming (the cost of therapeutic swimming prescribed by a physician)
Telephone (the cost and repair of special telephone equipment for a hearing-impaired person)
Television (the cost of equipment used to display the audio part of a TV program for hearing-impaired persons)
Transplant of an organ (but not hair transplants)
Transportation costs for obtaining medical care
Travel expenses for parents visiting their child in a special school for children with drug problems, where the visits are part of the medical treatment
Weight loss program, if it is recommended by a doctor to treat a specific medical condition or to cure any specific ailment or disease
Whirlpool baths prescribed by a doctor
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