What Medical Expenses Can I Deduct?

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As the new year is approaching, my husband and I are getting our paperwork organized. It’s been an eventful year with the birth of our daughter and I’m amazed at how much our little one is costing. One positive spin is that medical expenses can be deducted on our taxes.

Whose Medical Expenses Can You Deduct?

Generally speaking you can deduct your medical expenses, your spouse’s expenses, or your dependent’s (such as a qualifying child or relative) if you itemize your tax deductions.

What Medical Expenses Can I Deduct?

Please keep in mind that you can only claim the amount of your medical expenses that exceeds 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. Let’s say your AGI is $35,000. If your medical expenses for the year were $2,700 then you can deduct your expenses that were greater than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. However, if your medical and dental expenses were only $1,750 then you could not claim any, as they didn’t meet the requirement.

The IRS has a huge list of medical expenses that you can deduct. Some common ones I think many people use include:

  • Ambulance/Transportation
  • Annual Physical Exam
  • Breastpump
  • Chiropractor
  • Dental Treatment
  • Insurance Premiums
  • Medicine
  • Psychologist

For the entire list and detailed explanations, please check out our Medical Expense Checklist. I think most people will be able to find qualifying medical expenses they’ve had this past year. Please note that you can only deduct expenses that you’ve paid to treat, alleviate, or prevent a physical or mental illness.

My Family’s Medical Expenses This Year

After reviewing the IRS list of eligible expenses, I saw that my family has some medical expenses we can deduct. They include:

  • Breastpump: We just had our baby girl this year and I’m breastfeeding so the pump has become handy.
  • Contact Lens/EyeglassesI have both contacts and eyeglasses for my nearsightedness. Glad to see I can get a tax deduction for them.
  • Some Medical Insurance Premiums:  Only the ones that are not a pre-tax deduction from my income.
  • Laboratory Expenses: The blood-work I had done while I was pregnant is an eligible medical expense.
  • Medicines: The medicine my doctors prescribed are included.
  • Physical Examinations: I get my checkups annually to make sure everything is in check.

I’m really happy to see that we have medical expenses that are on the tax deductible list. Maybe we’ll get a good size tax refund; we’ll see.

What medical expenses are you going to deduct when you file your taxes? What has been the biggest expense? What expense surprised you?

13 responses to “What Medical Expenses Can I Deduct?”

  1. Ok, I dont have dental insurance and my kids had a lot of work done last year. Additionally, yes we do have a special need child, and that why I was asking the question. Still not sure where I am supposed to enter this information in the program. in Years past it seemed that this question was always addressed. Something different this year??????

    • Hi Jason,
      To enter your medical expenses go to the “Federal Taxes” Tab, “Deductions and Credits”, scroll down to “medical expenses” and start. If you have more questions you can click “contact” in the right hand corner and connect live via one-way video to a credentialed CPA or enrolled agent.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  2. My daughter had ear surgery to correct a birth defect. The insurance did not cover it. Can I use the 3,700 as a deduction?

    • Hi Mike,
      As long as you paid them out of pocket and your job did not deduct them from your paycheck tax deferred (tax free).
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  3. my husdand had dementia. I spent 6,000 a month for the home and 14,000.00 for an independent company for someone to come into the home and help him eat walk go to bath room etc. He was almost bed ridden. I spent about 90,000 for all this. Is anything deductible. My income is about 100k per year HELP

  4. I had a crown put on a tooth my insurance only paid a certain amount I was left w/the rest of the bill can I deduct that on my income taxes??
    What about pet meds, every month my cat needs her meds for her thyroid is that deductable??

  5. My husband has been going to chemo therapy, radiation therapy, tests, followup appointments. Can I deduct milage for numerous appointments?

  6. If you have a special needs child, you can deduct many of their expenses as a medical expense as those expenses are for the treatment of a medical condition. There was an article about this on TurboTax a while ago.

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