Claiming Medical Expenses Takes the Burden Away
If you are planning to claim your medical expenses when you file your tax return, you have to remember a few important tips in order to take a deduction for your medical expenses.
- Itemize – You are required to itemize your deductions if you want to claim medical expenses. You are not able to take the standard deduction for this purpose.
- Threshold for AGI – You’re supposed to include all the medical costs that you paid throughout the tax year, though you’re only allowed to deduct expenses that are greater than 10% of your adjusted gross income.
- Taxpayers Age 65 – a temporary AGI threshold of 7.5% exists for taxpayers or their spouses who are age 65 or older, and is in effect through the last day of December 2016.
- Eligible expenses – As long as you paid for expenses incurred by you, your spouse or dependents, you can likely include the costs. There are special exceptions that apply, and any reimbursed expenses, such as those paid for by insurance, are not eligible for deduction.
- Travel costs – You are able to claim travel expenses related to medical care. This can be public transportation, tolls, parking fees, or ambulance charges. If you use your own car for medical travel, you can deduct the expenses using either the standard mileage rate or the actual costs.
- No double dipping – you can’t deduct expenses that you paid using a Flexible Spending Arrangement, or Health Savings Account, as those amounts are typically not taxed. This stops taxpayers from getting multiple benefits for the same expense.