While there are some ways to deduct medical expenses from federal taxes, the rules for who and what qualifies for these deductions are strict and may be a bit confusing to some taxpayers. For example, there is a rule stating that taxpayers and the spouses of taxpayers who are 65 years and older may deduct medical expenses that are more than 7.5 percent of the taxpayer's gross income so long as those expenses were not reimbursed. This rule only applies during the period of Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2016, further narrowing the field of which senior citizen taxpayers qualify to claim medical expenses on a tax return.
Another group of people may be eligible to deduct medical expenses from federal taxes. These individuals must have proof that they paid for medical or dental expenses that exceed 10 percent of the taxpayer's adjusted gross income for the year. Adjusted gross income is the total amount of money one makes, including salary, income from investments and other forms of payment, minus any relevant deductions. So, for example, a person who paid $500 for a dental procedure and has an adjusted gross income of $500,000 would not be allowed to claim that expense because $500 does not exceed 10 percent of $500,000.