Can I deduct medical and dental expenses on my tax return?
|Medical and dental expenses include amounts paid for the diagnosis, cure, relief,
treatment, or prevention of disease, and for treatments affecting any part or function of
the body, but they must be primarily for the alleviation or prevention of a physical or
mental defect or illness.
CAN deduct the following...
CANNOT deduct the following...
|Admission and transportation to a medical conference relating to the chronic disease of a dependent, if it is primarily for and essential to the care of the dependent |
|Birth control pills prescribed by your doctor|
|Capital expenses for equipment or improvements to your home needed for medical
care, or to make the home suitable for a disabled person.
(See IRS tax Publication 502)|
|Cost and care of guide dogs or other animals aiding the blind, deaf or disabled.|
|Cost of lead-based paint removal (See
IRS tax Publication 502)|
|Dental and orthodontic care|
|Expenses of an organ donor.|
|Hospital services fees (lab work, therapy, nursing services, surgery, etc.)|
|Legal operation to prevent having children.|
|Meals and lodging provided by a hospital during medical treatment.|
|Medical, hospital, dental and long-term
care insurance premiums (subject to the age limits) (See
IRS tax Publication 17 for
|Medical services fees (from doctors, dentists, surgeons, specialists, and other medical
|Medicare A premiums for persons not enrolled in Social Security, and Medicare B premiums|
|Oxygen equipment and oxygen|
|Part of life-care fee paid to retirement home designated for medical care.|
|Prescription medicines (those requiring a prescription by a doctor for their use by an
individual) and insulin.|
|Psychiatric care at a specially equipped medical center (includes meals and lodging.)|
|Social Security tax, Medicare tax, FUTA, and state employment tax for worker providing
medical care (See Wages for nursing services below.)|
|Special items (artificial limbs, false teeth, eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids,
crutches, wheelchairs, braces, etc.)|
|Special school or home for mentally or physically disabled persons (see
IRS tax Publication 502
|Stop smoking programs, including cost of prescription drugs designed to alleviate nicotine withdrawal.|
|Transportation for needed medical care
at the IRS published rate per mile, or actual out-of-pocket expenses,
plus parking fees and tolls. (See
IRS tax Publication 17 for details).|
|Treatment at drug or alcohol center (includes meals and lodging provided by the
|Wages for nursing services ( see
IRS tax Publication
|Weight-loss programs to treat obesity and other diseases diagnosed by a physician||
|Expenses for your general health (even if following your doctor's advice. However if you
doctor has recommended a program as treatment for a specific condition,
the IRS has indicated that the cost would be deductible) such as|
- Health club dues
- Household help (even if recommended by a doctor.)
- Social activities, such as dancing or swimming lessons.
- Trip for general health improvement.
- Weight loss program.
|Funeral, burial or cremation expenses.|
|Illegal operation or treatment.|
|Life insurance or income protection policies, or policies providing payment for loss of
life, limb, sight, etc.|
|Meals and lodging while attending a
medical conference related to the chronic disease of a dependent|
|Medical expenses paid from a medical
savings account (MSA).|
|Medical expenses paid from a flexible
savings account (FSA)|
|Medical insurance included in a car insurance policy covering all persons injured in or
by your car.|
|Medical insurance premiums paid with
|Medicine you buy without a prescription.|
|Nonprescription drugs or medicines.|
|Nonprescription nicotine gum, patches,
|Nursing home policies, if the policy
ensures a maximum out-of-pocket expense per day.|
|Babysitting, childcare, and nursing care for a healthy baby.|
|Payroll tax paid for Medicare A.|
|Surgery for purely cosmetic reasons.|
|Toothpaste, toiletries, cosmetics, etc.|
|The tax deduction on
your tax return for a qualified long-term care insurance policy's premium is limited.
|Benefits paid by qualified long term care policies:
To the extent that they reimburse long term care expenses, benefits paid by
an indemnity type contract are tax free. Benefits paid by a per diem contract
are tax free up to $300 per day.
You may deduct on your tax return
qualified medical expenses you pay for yourself, your
spouse, and your dependents, including a person you claim as a dependent under a multiple
support agreement. If either parent claims a child as a dependent under the rules for
divorced or separated parents, each parent may deduct on their tax return the medical expenses he or she
actually pays for the child. You can also deduct on your tax return medical expenses you paid for someone who
would have qualified as your dependent except that the person didn't meet the gross income
or joint tax return test. Select Tax
Generally, unreimbursed medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of
Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) are tax deductible on your tax return.
Your total medical expenses for the tax year that you deduct on your tax
return must be reduced by any reimbursement. It may be
possible to shift tax deductions between tax years to take advantage of the 7.5% limit.
Consider paying medical expenses in the tax year in which you will have a lower AGI, because
the lower your AGI, the greater the allowable medical tax deduction on your tax return. Consider postponing or
accelerating elective treatments, thereby increasing the percentage for a particular
Expenses paid for the medical care of a child who receives more than half of his or her
support from you is tax deductible on your tax return, even if you are not entitled to a personal exemption for
the child because he or she has too much income.
Medical and Dental
Expenses - Standard mileage rate
For 2011, the standard mileage rate for medical travel is 19 cents a mile (1/1/11-6/30/11)
and 23.5 cents a mile
(7/1/11-12/31/11). For more
information, see Tax
Topic 510, Business Use of Car, or
IRS Publication 463, Travel,
Entertainment, and Gift Expenses.
Medical and Dental
Expenses - Self employed persons
If you are self employed and have a net profit for the
tax year, or if you are a partner in
a partnership or a shareholder in an S corporation, you may be able to
deduct on your tax return, as an
adjustment to income, 100% of the amount you pay for medical insurance for yourself and
your spouse and dependents. You cannot take the special 100% tax deduction
on your tax return for any month
in which you are eligible to participate in any subsidized health plan maintained by your
employer or your spouse's employer.
|| Related tax
information about medical and dental expenses
Tax Deductible Long Term Care Costs
Medical Savings Accounts
Tax Deductible Nursing Home Expenses
Itemized Tax Deductions Directory
|IRS publications about medical and dental expenses:
For more information see IRS Publication
502, Medical and Dental Expenses. Also see
IRS Publication 17,
Your Federal Income Tax.
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