Getting sick is a big obstacle not just because sickness compromises your health and possibly affects your quality of life but it also has an obvious negative effect on your finances. Medical expenses are not cheap and you can really feel the pinch when some of the fees that you need to pay are not covered by your health insurance policy. Fortunately, the Internal Revenue Service has set provisions that allow a taxpayer to deduct some of the medical expenses they’ve incurred on their tax returns. This is the kind of tax relief people who are sick or who have relatives who are sick really need.
Here are some important things you should to know when it comes to tax deductions and your medical expenses.
Deductible Medical Expenses
There are medical procedures and related fees that the IRS allows as a tax deductible expense. For example, preventive care for various disease, are considered tax deductible. Various treatments and surgeries as well as standard vision and dental care are all considered tax deductible expenses. Visits to a licensed psychologist or psychiatrists are also considered a tax deductible expense. You will be happy to know that prescription medication is also tax deductible. Appliances like dentures, glasses, contact lenses and hearing aids can also be deducted from your tax returns. Patients who are mobility challenged will be happy to know that the expense they incur for traveling like your bus fare, parking fees, and even the mileage you get from traveling in your car.
Non-Deductible Medical Expenses
There are certain fees and expenses that are non-deductible. For example, the medical expenses you incur but get reimbursed for are not tax deductible. The reimbursements may come from your insurance or from the health plan you get from your employer. Also, expenses for cosmetic procedures are generally non-deductible as well, mainly because cosmetic procedures are mostly conducted out of vanity and not for any actual medical or health-related needs. Non-prescription drugs, except for insulin, are not tax-deductible, along with general health products like vitamins, supplements, and personal hygiene products (toothpaste, soap, etc.). It should also be noted that any legitimate medical expenses you may have incurred in a previous year, although in and of itself deductible, cannot be applied anymore for the following year. So you have to be vigilant in listing these tax deductions.
Claiming Medical Expense Tax Deductions
To claim your medical expense-related tax deductions, you should itemize the deductible expenses. In itemizing deductions you are required not to take the standard deduction. Only claim the medical expense deduction if the amount in the itemized deductions exceeds your standard deduction.
Hopefully, this information will give you some measure of financial tax relief, especially if you’re going through some medical issues that is beginning to exert some pressure on your finances.
William Durham has written for both online and traditional media on the topics of tax relief, business taxes and home financing.