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Medical Expenses

how to claim medical expenses on taxes

By William Perez. Tax Planning: U.S. Expert

William Perez has worked as a tax professional since 2004. He earned the enrolled agent designation by passing a comprehensive examination on federal taxes and maintains his credential by taking continuing education classes.

Itemized Deduction for Medical Expenses

Total medical expenses in excess of 7.5% of a person's adjusted gross income can be deducted as part of itemized deductions. Starting with the year 2013, the 7.5% threshold will increase to 10% of adjusted gross income.

Flexible spending accounts (FSA)

Qualifying Medical Expenses

Generally speaking, a medical expense will qualify for a tax deduction or tax-free reimbursement the expense is for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body.

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The following general types of expenses qualify:

  • Costs for medical services from physicians, surgeons, dentists and other medical professionals;
  • Costs for medications prescribed by a medical professional
  • Costs for medical devices, equipment and supplies prescribed by a medical professional (such as eyeglasses)
  • Costs for health and dental insurance
  • Costs for long-term care and long-term care insurance
  • Transportation and lodging costs for traveling to a health care facility, including mileage for driving for medical care at a rate of 16.5 cents per mile (for 2010).
Over-the-counter treatments, nutritional supplements, vitamins, and first aid supplies do not qualify as tax-deductible expenses, unless those items are prescribed by a medical professional. Controlled substances (such as cocaine and marijuana) are not tax-deductible either, even if prescribed.

Tax Planning for Medical Expenses

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