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Deducting Medical and Dental Expenses

It is very important that you keep adequate records of all your medical and dental expenses incurred, because if you incurred substantial expenses, you may be entitled to claim a deduction on your tax return. You can deduct medical expenses for yourself, your spouse, and all your dependents on your tax return. It is very important to note, however, that you can deduct these expenses only to the extent that they exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income. (For taxpayers 65 and older, up to tax year 2016, they can deduct expenses that exceed 7.5% of their income).

Deductible medical expenses include the following:

• Doctors, dentists, and other medical practitioners’ fees.
• Hospital services fees; this includes lab work, therapy, surgery, etc.
• Prescription medicine.
• Meals and lodgings provided by a hospital during medical treatment (subject to conditions).
• The cost and care of guide dogs or animals aiding the blind.
• The cost of lead-based paint removal.
• The expenses of an organ donor.
• Long-term care contracts.
• Wages paid for nursing services.
• Treatment in a drug or alcohol center.
• Legal abortion.

The cost of living in a retirement home (for yourself, your spouse, or your dependent) is deductible if any party was required to live there because of the availability of medical care.

Medical insurance premiums for policies that cover medical and dental care, prescription drugs, eyeglasses, replacement for contact lens, and qualified long-term care insurance contracts, are also deductible.

If you make improvements to your home that are required because of medical conditions, but which do not add value to your home, these costs can be deductible.

You can also deduct transportation expenses that you incur, as long as these expenses were incurred primarily for, and were essential to the medical care received.

The primary objective of this article is to empower taxpayers to learn to do their own taxes. For more detailed information what medical expenses you can deduct, grab yourself a copy of “Doing Your Own Taxes is as Easy as 1, 2, 3,” ($6.98) on


Milton G Boothe is an IRS Enrolled Agent with over twenty years of tax and financial accounting experience, including several years at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He is also a British certified Chartered Accountant. He is currently employed in private tax practices where he helps people resolve their tax problems, minimize their taxes, and routinely represents the interests of taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. As an Enrolled Agent (EA) Boothe is a federally-authorized tax practitioner who has technical expertise in the field of taxation and who is empowered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before all administrative levels of the IRS for audits, collections, and appeals.
Milton G Boothe is also the author of several tax publications, wherein he encourages people to empower themselves by learning to do their own taxes.

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