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  • Writer's pictureVeronica L. Younger, E.A.

Your Guide to Deducting Medical Expenses

Are you on the verge of itemizing but just need a few more deductions to push you over the threshold? Claiming Medical deductions might just be the key to helping you lower your tax bill. To accomplish this, your deductions must be from a list approved by the Internal Revenue Service, and you must itemize your deductions.

How Do I Know If I Am Itemizing or Taking the Standard Deduction?

When you file your Form 1040, you have the option of itemizing or taking the standard deduction. Most taxpayers take the standard deduction due to the increased threshold limits. If your medical expenses, either state and local sales tax (SALT) OR state income tax (you can't claim both), mortgage interest and charitable contributions total up to be more than the threshold below, chances are you itemize.

Why? It usually provides a greater tax benefit.

For 2022, the available standard deductions are as follows:

Filing Status

2022 Standard Deduction



Married Filing Jointly


Married Filing Separately


Head of Household


How to Claim Medical Expense Deductions

You have to itemize deductions on Schedule A to receive a tax benefit AND you can only deduct unreimbursed medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). You can find this on line 11 of your 2022 Form 1040.


If your AGI is $70,000, the first $5,250 of qualified expenses (7.5% of $70,000) will not count. If you had $8,000 of unreimbursed medical expenses in 2022, you would only be able to deduct $2,750 on Schedule A.

Medical Expense Deductions Checklist

  • Abortions

  • Acupuncture

  • Addiction treatment, including meals and lodging at a drug or alcohol addiction treatment center.

  • Bandages

  • Birth control pills

  • Braille books and periodicals used by a person who is visually impaired

  • Braces

  • Breast pumps and pumping supplies

  • Breast reconstruction surgery following a mastectomy for cancer

  • Chiropractic services for medical care

  • Condoms

  • Contact lenses

  • Cosmetic surgery, if necessary to improve a deformity related to a congenital abnormality, accident or disease

  • Crutches

  • Dental treatment for the prevention and alleviation of dental disease

  • Diagnostic devices, such as blood sugar test kits

  • Diet food, when prescribed by a doctor to alleviate a specific medical condition

  • Doctor or physician expenses such as

  • occupational therapists

  • osteopathic doctors

  • physical therapists

  • podiatrists

  • psychiatrists

  • psychoanalysts (medical care only)

  • psychologists

  • Emotional support animals (including the cost of maintaining them)

  • Exercise programs, when recommended by a doctor to treat a specific medical condition

  • Eye exams

  • Eye surgery, such as LASIK or a similar procedure

  • Eyeglasses

  • False teeth

  • Fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization, surgery and temporary storage of eggs or sperm

  • Gender-affirming care such as hormone therapy and surgery for transgender individuals

  • Guide dog or another service animal for a person with low vision or hearing. (including the cost of maintaining them)

  • Health, dental and vision insurance premiums

  • Hearing aids

  • Home improvements if their main purpose is medical care

  • Hospital services while receiving medical care

  • Household help for nursing care services

  • Insurance premiums for medical and dental care, including premiums for qualified long-term care insurance contracts

  • Laboratory fees

  • Lead-based paint removal when a child is diagnosed with lead poisoning

  • Legal fees paid to authorize treatment for mental illness

  • Lodging expenses while away from home to receive medical care in a hospital or medical facility

  • Long-term care expenses

  • Mattresses and boards bought specifically to alleviate an arthritic condition

  • Meals - You can include in medical expenses the cost of meals at a hospital or similar institution if a principal reason for being there is to get medical care.

  • Medical conference admission costs and travel expenses for a person with a chronic illness to learn about new medical treatments

  • Menstrual Products such as pads, tampons, diva cups, panty liners

  • Nursing care and nursing home expenses

  • Operations (excluding cosmetic surgery)

  • Organ transplants

  • Over the counter products and medicine

  • Oxygen and oxygen equipment to relieve breathing problems

  • Physical exams and diagnostic tests

  • Pregnancy test kits

  • Prescription drugs

  • Premiums you pay for Medicare Part D insurance

  • Prosthetic limbs

  • Personal protective equipment (such as masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes), for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of Coronavirus

  • Psychiatric care

  • Smoking cessation programs

  • Special education

  • Supplemental part of Medicare insurance (Medicare Part B)

  • Sterilization or vasectomy

  • Telephone and special equipment for a person who is hearing impaired

  • Travel and transportation costs for obtaining medical care

  • Weight loss programs to treat a specific disease diagnosed by a physician

  • Wheelchairs

  • X-rays for medical reasons

Remember. You can not claim any expenses that you received reimbursement from insurance or other sources.

Whose Medical and Dental Expenses Can You Include?

You can include medical and dental bills you paid in 2022 for anyone who was one of the following either when the services were provided or when you paid for them.

  • Yourself and your spouse.

  • All dependents you claim on your return.

  • Your child whom you don't claim as a dependent because of the rules for children of divorced or separated parents.

  • Any person you could have claimed as a dependent on your return except that person received $4,400 or more of gross income or filed a joint return.

  • Any person you could have claimed as a dependent except that you, or your spouse if filing jointly, can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's 2022 return.

Example. You provided over half of your parent's support but can't claim your parent as a dependent because they received wages of $4,400 in 2022. You can include on line 1 any medical and dental expenses you paid in 2022 for your parent.

Friendly Suggestions

Although most people do not itemize, situations happen unexpectedly. For that reason it's a good idea to track medical expenses throughout the year and keep copies of those receipts.

  • Try to "bunch" all major medical expenses into a certain year. This increases your chances of making them deductible because you have surpassed the 7.5% limit.

  • Plan to have major medical procedures completed in low income years. Your chances of deducting them are greater because your AGI is lower.

Interested in learning about how much you could be saving? Book a no obligation Tax Planning Consultation or a Q&A all.

If you need a highly trained, Enrolled Agent to prepare your taxes. Book a Discovery Call to learn more about how we can help you!

------Your Proactive Tax Strategist. Happy Saving ! ------

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