What Are the IRS Rules for Medical Deductions?


Quick Answer

The rules for deducting medical and dental expenses are covered in the Internal Revenue Service’s Topic 502 that is available online via the IRS website or in print by request. Only taxpayers that itemize deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A may be able to deduct these expenses.

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Full Answer

Specific medical and dental expenses may be deductible for filers who itemize, including their spouses and dependents, according to the IRS. Taxpayers may only deduct total medical expenses in excess of 10 percent of the adjusted gross income shown on their tax returns. Taxpayers 65 or older, or whose spouses are 65 or older, can only deduct the total expenses in excess of 7.5 percent of the adjusted gross income shown on their returns.

Some examples of allowable expenses under Topic 502 guidelines include payments to doctors, dentists and other medical practitioners for fees and payments made for inpatient hospital or nursing home care. The cost of drugs that require a prescription, costs of participation in weight-loss programs and costs of eyeglasses, dentures, hearing aids and medical equipment may also be deductible. The payment of health insurance premiums, transportation to and from medical facilities for care, and some non-traditional medical care costs may also be included, according to the IRS.

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