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Who qualifies for a medical deduction when filing taxes?

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Quick Answer

Any taxpayer who has medical expenses in excess of 10 percent of the adjusted gross income for the year may qualify for a medical deduction when filing federal income tax returns, according to TurboTax. To claim the deductions, the taxpayer must itemize deductions rather than taking the standard deduction.

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Full Answer

A taxpayer must use the IRS Form 1040 and attach Schedule A in order to claim a medical expense deduction, notes TurboTax. Temporary exemptions are sometimes introduced by the IRS, such as one lasting from January 2013 and through Dec. 31, 2016 that allows taxpayers age 65 and older and their spouses to use a lower threshold of 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income in order to qualify for the medical deduction on federal taxes.

Items that qualify as deductible medical expenses include dental and vision care, psychological and mental health care, preventive care, various medicines and treatments, and surgeries, explains TurboTax. If a patient must travel for medical care, then gasoline costs for a car, public transportation fees and parking costs are all considered deductible expenses.

Expenses not covered include any care that the patient has already been reimbursed for, such as being reimbursed by an employer, as well as most cosmetic treatments and surgeries, states TurboTax. Over-the-counter medicines and dental care products such as toothpaste do not count as qualifying expenses either.

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