Break a leg, fix a tooth! It’s deductible!! Well-maybe…..

Break a leg, fix a tooth! It’s deductible!! Well-maybe…..

59552_157022454323299_8148168_nSo, you have probably heard that you need quite a bit of medical expenses to have a deduction.  Well…that’s true. But they do add up so keep track.

You can deduct medical, dental and optical expenses that are considered Qualified Expenses if you are ITEMIZING your deductions rather than taking the standard deduction AND IF the amount of those expenses exceed the following:

  • 10% of adjusted gross income
  • 7.5% of AGI still works for the years 2015 and 2016 if you have turned age 65 by those years

The most common Qualified Medical Expenses include:

  • Medical insurance premiums only if they weren’t already deducted pre-tax (such as from your paycheck)
  • COBRA premiums as long as you didn’t pay it with another pretax method
  • Ambulance trips
  • Annual exams
  • Dental exams, cleanings, and dental work (other than purely cosmetic)
  • Eye exams, contacts, and glasses
  • Hearing aids and batteries for them
  • Medicine
  • Nursing home or nursing services
  • Psychiatric Care
  • Surgeries
  • X-rays

Less common and/or Less Known Qualified Medical Expenses:

  • Acupuncture, inpatient alcoholism treatment
  • Bandages
  • Breast Pumps and Supplies
  • Crutches and other Medical equipment such as blood sugar test kits and supplies
  • Contact lense solutions and supplies
  • Disabled DEPENDENT CARE expenses (take as either this or the dependent care credit)
  • Guide dogs: buying, training, maintaining
  • Legal fees needed to authorize treatment for mental illness
  • Lodging and meals when out of town for medical care (limits apply)
  • Medical conference fees if it concerns you, your spouse or dependent
  • Oxygen and machines for same
  • Pregnancy test kits
  • Stop smoking programs but not the cost of nicotine gum or patches
  • Special telephone or television equipment when needed for medical reasons
  • Special education: tutoring by a teacher specially trained for a learning disability due to mental or physical impairments under a doctors recommendation
  • Wigs recommended by a doctor for mental health reasons for a patient who lost all of his/her hair from a disease

You can deduct the amounts paid for you, your spouse and your dependents as long as they were your dependent EITHER at the time the expense was incurred OR at the time the bill was paid.  They are deducted in the year PAID.

You can itemize if the total amount on Schedule A of the Form 1040 exceeds the standard deduction for your filing status:

Standard Deduction

  • Single OR Married Filing Separately $6,300
  • Married Filing Joint or Qualifying $12,600    (btw, if your spouse if filing separate or joint, u must file the same way)
  • Head of Household  $9,250

Schedule A common deductions (some of these also have limitations and all have lots of rules involved)

  • Medical/dental/optical expenses and mileage
  • State and local income tax or sales tax
  • Real estate taxes
  • Mortgage interest, Home Equity Loan Interest, PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance Premiums)
  • Investment interest such as Margin Interest
  • Charitable contributions and mileage
  • Gambling losses to the extent of gambling winnings (there are special new rules for slot machine winnings also)
  • Casualty losses
  • Unreimbursed employee business expenses that were required to be paid but were not reimbursed
  • Union dues and business publications
  • Tax preparation fees

Oh yeah, by the way, NOTHING IS DEDUCTIBLE, if you have already used another tax benefit for it….a Flex Spending Account at work, a Health Reimbursement Account distribution, a Health Savings Account distribution, a pre-tax deduction at work.




Colleen Minnich

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