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:
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
Addiction treatment, including meals and lodging at a drug or alcohol addiction treatment center.
Birth control pills
Braille books and periodicals used by a person who is visually impaired
Breast pumps and pumping supplies
Breast reconstruction surgery following a mastectomy for cancer
Chiropractic services for medical care
Cosmetic surgery, if necessary to improve a deformity related to a congenital abnormality, accident or disease
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
psychoanalysts (medical care only)
Emotional support animals (including the cost of maintaining them)
Exercise programs, when recommended by a doctor to treat a specific medical condition
Eye surgery, such as LASIK or a similar procedure
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
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
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)
Over the counter products and medicine
Oxygen and oxygen equipment to relieve breathing problems
Physical exams and diagnostic tests
Pregnancy test kits
Premiums you pay for Medicare Part D insurance
Personal protective equipment (such as masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes), for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of Coronavirus
Smoking cessation programs
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
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.
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.
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