You can get a special tax break to deduct your medical expenses. And they can be a lot more than you realize.
Here are just some of the potentially deductible items: the Part B Medicare premium you pay every month ($104.90 for most people), the Part D premiums you pay for drug coverage, the premiums you pay for any Medi-gap coverage (that’s the supplementary policy); and premiums for long-term care insurance. And your co-payments and deductibles, such as your 20% share of the cost of a visit to the doctor’s office.
There are lots of things Medicare won’t cover, but you might need them urgently. Maybe you need a root canal, a crown or some new fillings. Medicare won’t pay for this unless it is linked to some acute disease, such as cancer of the jaw. Your feet are sore, and the podiatrist fits you with orthotics for your shoes. Medicare doesn’t pay unless you have diabetes. For new eyeglasses, Medicare declines to pay unless you have glaucoma or some other disease. All these out-of-pocket costs can go into your tax deduction calculations.
Here’s how it works. Add up all your costs. Take a look at your adjusted Gross Income (AGI) If you are over 65, or your spouse is 65 or older, you calculate 7.5% of your AGI. Everything above that is deductible when you itemize on your return. Example, your adjusted gross income was $100,000 in 2014. You had medical costs of $14,000 for the year. 7.5% of your AGI is $7,500. The remaining cost, $6,500, is deductible when you itemize on Schedule A for the 2014 tax year.
Not as generous a deal if you are under 65. Then you get a deduction only on spending above 10% of AGI.
There are lots of things you might not easily recognize as deductible. Here are some from a list by Turbotax
“Wig for the mental health of a patient who has lost his or her hair due to a disease
Travel expenses for parents visiting their child in a special school for children with drug problems, where the visits are part of the medical treatment
Television (the cost of equipment used to display the audio part of a TV program for hearing-impaired persons.
Reclining chair bought on a doctor’s advice by a person with a cardiac condition
Special education; tuition for sending a mentally impaired or physically disabled person to a special school that has resources to relieve the disability
Nursing home expenses, including the entire cost of medical care, plus meals and lodging if the main reason for being in the home is to obtain medical care
Medical conference admission costs and travel expenses for a chronically ill person or a parent of a chronically ill child to learn about new medical treatments. (But not the cost of meals and lodging while attending the conference.
Exercise program if a doctor has recommended it as treatment for a specific condition.
Extra rent or utilities for a larger apartment required in order to provide space for a nurse/attendant.”
Here is IRS publication 502 with a full explanation of medical tax deductions for your 2014 return.
Easy Related Posts
What You Don't Know about Social Security Can Cost You Big Bucks
If you are 65 or older, most of your income is from Social Security, 52% ...read more
What Medicare Won’t Pay For: Check Your Teeth, Eyes, Ears and Feet
Need a tooth implant to replace a cracked or rotten tooth? Need hearing aids because ...read more
You Can Get a Big Chunk of Cash from Social Security
You probably don’t know it, but Social Security can give you a big, lump-sum check ...read more
With No Cash or Delegates, White House Conference on Aging Goes Big for Social Media
With zero funds to bring delegates to Washington, Monday’s White House Conference on Aging will ...read more