Medical Expenses People Don’t Claim but Should, (and a few that they do claim but shouldn’t)

So many people skip right by the medical expense deduction in tax season because it is limited to the amount over 7.5% of your income.  To many that is too high a threshold to surpass.  But maybe…..consider some of these often overlooked medical expenses that would count toward the deduction.

  • Acupuncture
  • Alcoholism & Addiction treatment (includes inpatient food and lodging, and transportation to AA meetings)
  • Artificial teeth and limbs
  • Birth Control
  • Body Scans
  • Capital Improvements for medical purposes that don’t increase the value of your home for example:
    • Widening doors
    • Handrails
    • Ramps
    • Modified door or window hardware
  • Car modifications for medical purposes
  • Guide Dog/Pet expenses – trained and certified pets only
  • Medical Conferences for relevant chronic illnesses (travel and entry fees but not meals)
  • Qualified Long Term Care Insurance
  • Special Education (must be directed by a doctor for a specific medical condition)
  • Sterilization
  • Television Adapter for hearing impaired
  • Telephone Adapters for hearing impaired
  • Transportation
    • For medical care
    • For parents accompanying children/dependents to medical care
    • To visit patients if visits are recommended for patients treatment (mental disorders, etc)
  • Weight Loss program if prescribed by doctor to prevent a specific disease (food and gym not deductible)
  • Expenses paid on behalf of dependents if the only reason they are not claimed as dependents is:
    • Due to divorce or separated parents
    • Made $4000 or more in income or filed a Joint return
    • Was claimed as a dependent on someone else’ return

These are just some of the often missed deductions.  Don’t leave anything on the table, be sure to check and ask your accountant if you have any questions, or you can comment or contact us.

NOW, here are some of the common questions I get that I must say are NOT deductible as medical expenses:

  • Adoption costs
  • Baby sitting or Child care
  • Controlled Substances – even in states where Medical Marijuana is legal.  This includes treatments, operations even if rendered by licensed physicians
  • Cosmetic surgeries including hair replacement or face/eye lifts
  • Funeral expenses
  • Health Club dues
  • Maternity clothes
  • Nutritional Supplements
  • Teeth Whitening

Remember – even if you don’t itemize for the federal returns, many states still follow the old tax rules which would allow you to take the standard deduction on your federal return, but itemize your state return under the pre-Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 rules so always keep your records and ask your tax preparer if they are helpful.

We’ll chat again soon!

Susan

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