Determining Allowable Federal Income Medical Tax Deductions

Federal income tax deductions, including medical tax deductions, can provide a valuable way to save money on your tax return, but federal income tax deductions can be complicated and difficult to understand. When you're calculating your deductions, make sure you're thorough in determining allowable medical deductions.

IRS Publication 502 has a complete list of allowable deductions.
For a complete list of allowable deductions, including the long list of sub-categories of allowable expenses, see IRS Publication 502. Most procedures that are construed as medically necessary are allowable medical expenses, while procedures that are primarily cosmetic are not. Some procedures fall into both categories.

Medically necessary weight loss, for example, is an allowable deduction; that is, weight loss to treat a medically diagnosed condition, such as obesity. However, weight loss for cosmetic purposes but without a medically diagnosed condition does not qualify as an allowable deduction, so make sure to read the category completely to determine whether your deduction is allowable.

Most medically necessary procedures are allowable medical tax deductions.
While there are many sub-categories of allowable expenses, some of the most common medically necessary procedures that qualify for medical tax deductions are doctor's visits, home care, hospital services, operations, therapy or psychotherapy. However, the medical federal income tax deductions also encompass health supplies, such as a wheelchair, medicines, eyeglasses, contact lenses, diagnostic devices and even pregnancy test kits and birth control pills.

Bottom line: There are a ton of allowable medical income tax deductions. Consult IRS Publication 502 to make sure you're not missing out on a chance to use one.

Many cosmetic procedures aren't allowable federal income tax deductions.
While some procedures fall into both categories, many primarily cosmetic procedures aren't covered under medical tax deductions. Examples of procedures that aren't covered include: hair transplants, gym membership, maternity clothes, nonprescription medicines, teeth whitening or cosmetic surgery. Again, if you're in doubt as to whether or not an expense is allowable, consult IRS Publication 502 for a complete list.

You can claim medical expenses for qualifying relatives.
Depending on the circumstances, you can claim medical expenses for qualifying relatives. If you're filing a joint return or you're the sole earner in your household, you may be able to deduct your spouse's or dependents' medical expenses on your return. You can also deduct expenses for some qualifying relatives under some circumstances. However, IRS rules on these questions are very specific, so make sure you understand your rights when you file for these deductions.

If your situation is complicated, consider seeking tax advice.
Not every tax situation is simple. Maybe you're wondering if you can include a spouse or dependent's medical expenses (the answer is yes, under some circumstances). Maybe you support your parents or other qualifying relative and want to know if you can claim those expenses. If you've got a complicated tax situation and IRS Publication 502 doesn't answer your question, consider consulting a professional for tax advice.

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Given the enormous costs associated with medical treatment and procedures, knowing how and what you might claim for medical tax deductions can afford you significant savings when it's time to file your federal taxes. By keeping careful records and understanding exactly what you can claim, you should be able to save money as a result of the medical costs you incur.

Claiming medical tax deductions on your federal income taxes is a great way to minimize your tax liability and maximize your return. Consider these important points when you're doing your tax planning.

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