If you itemize deductions, you may deduct the amounts you paid for medical and dental expenses that exceeded 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI).

The deduction is allowed for expenses paid for the prevention and alleviation of a physical or mental defect or illness. Medical expenses include expenses related to diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or treatment affecting any function or structure of the body.

Deduction Guidelines

  • Expenses must be for you, your spouse or your dependent, or for anyone who would qualify as your dependent except for having a gross income of more than $3,650.
  • Expenses must be paid during the current tax year, regardless of when incurred.
  • Expenses must not be compensated by insurance.
  • Expenses must not be paid out of a tax-free medical savings or health savings account.
  • You must subtract from your deduction total any reimbursement of medical expenses, whether they were paid to you or directly to the doctor or hospital.

Qualifying Expenses

  • Professional services – doctors, dentists, surgeons, chiropractors, psychiatrists, psychologist, acupuncture, Christian Science Practitioners
  • Care services – hospital, qualified long-term care, nursing, laboratory, inpatient drug or alcohol treatment
  • Medications – insulin, prescription drugs
  • Diseases – diagnosis, mitigation, cure, treatment or prevention
  • Smoking cessation – program fees, prescription drugs to alleviate nicotine withdrawal (this does not include nicotine gum or patches)
  • Weight loss – program fees to attend weight loss programs for specific diseases, including obesity, diagnosed by a physician
  • Transportation – primarily for and essential to medical care
    Vehicle use – actual out-of-pocket expenses or the standard mileage rate for medical expenses (19 cents per mile for the first six months of 2011 and 23.5 cents per mile for the last six months); expenses for parking and tolls can be included for either method
  • Conferences – admission and transportation for conferences relating to the chronic diseases of you, your spouse or your dependent
  • Eye care – prescription eye glasses, contact lenses or laser eye surgery
  • Supplementary items – false teeth, hearing aids, crutches, wheelchairs, guide dogs for the blind or deaf
  • Insurance premiums – accident, health, long-term care insurance
    Self-employed persons with a net profit might be able to deduct 100% of medical insurance premiums.

Non-Qualifying Expenses

  • Non-prescription over-the-counter medicines or drugs
  • Funeral / burial
  • Most cosmetic surgery
  • Attending a program for the improvement of your general health
  • Meals and lodging while attending a qualifying conference
  • Diet food
  • Insurance premiums for life insurance, loss of wages or any policy that pays you a guaranteed amount each week due to sickness
  • Insurance premiums paid by your employer, unless the premiums are included in box 1 of your Form W-2
Medical and Dental Expenses

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