Tax Deductions:

Deductions for Medical and Dental Expenses

Commonly Overlooked Deductions

You figure your medical expense deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040). You must first reduce your total medical expenses by all reimbursements you have received from insurance or other sources, including Medicare. Unfortunately, while almost any medical expense qualifies for the deduction, it is difficult to actually take a deduction on your tax return. To qualify for this deduction, your medical expenses must total more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income for the tax year. For example, a person with an adjusted gross income of $40,000 must have more than $3,000 in total medical expenses in order to utilize this deduction. You can, however, include medical expenses you pay for yourself, your spouse, dependents and adopted children.

Deducted medical expenses include payments for treatment, cure, diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to any part or function of the body as well as costs incurred for alleviation or prevention of mental illness. Deductions cannot be taken for expenses incurred for purely cosmetic procedures or overall general health benefits. Following is a list of commonly overlooked medical and dental related expenses.

  • Contraceptives prescribed by a doctor
  • Legal abortion
  • Care and cost of guide dogs for the blind, deaf and disabled, or fees pay to someone to accompany the disabled person
  • Prosthetic limbs, false teeth, glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, crutches, wheelchairs
  • Cost of a wheelchair lift, it's installation in a van or other expenses incurred for equipment or improvements to your home needed for medical care
  • Special school or home for mentally or physically disabled people
  • Treatment at a drug or alcohol center
  • Ambulance service
  • Lab fees and tests
  • Installation of a swimming pool if its primary purpose is for medical care
  • Stop-smoking programs (this does not include non-prescription drugs such as nicotine patches or gum.)
  • Wigs, if essential to your mental health