By Kimberly Lankford | July 30, 2015
If you itemize deductions and have hefty out-of-pocket medical expenses, you may qualify for a tax break next spring.
See Also: ASK KIM: Can I Pay Health Insurance Premiums From a Health Savings Account?
To deduct medical expenses, you must itemize your deductions, and you can deduct eligible out-of-pocket expenses only to the extent they exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income (7.5% of AGI if you’re 65 or older, or if you file a joint return and either spouse is 65 or older).
Most medical expenses you pay out of pocket--such as deductibles, co-payments, prescription drugs, dental and vision care, and the portion of other medical bills not covered by insurance--are eligible for the tax break. You can count expenses for yourself, your spouse and anyone you claim as a dependent.
You can also deduct a wide range of other medical expenses, such as the cost of eyeglasses and contact lenses (and even contact
lens insurance), 23 cents a mile to drive your car to get medical care, up to $50 per person per night for travel to receive medical care, health insurance premiums that weren’t paid with pretax money (including Medicare Part B and Part D premiums), chiropractor visits and a weight-loss program if recommended by your doctor as part of treatment for a specific medical problem.
You can also deduct qualified long-term-care services in certain circumstances, and if you have a “tax-qualified” policy, you can deduct a portion of long-term-care insurance premiums based on your age ($380 per person if you’re 40 or younger, $710 if 41 to 50, $1,430 if 51 to 60, $3,800 if 61 to 70 and $4,750 if you’re 71 or older).
For a list of eligible expenses, see IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses .
You can’t double dip tax breaks, so any medical expenses you paid for with tax-free money from a health savings account or flexible-spending account are not eligible for the tax deduction.