Following is a list of items that you can include in figuring your medical expense deduction. The items are listed in alphabetical order.
This list does not include all possible medical expenses. To determine if an expense not listed can be included in figuring your medical expense deduction, see What Are Medical Expenses
You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay for a legal abortion. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014785
You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay for acupuncture. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014786
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for an inpatient's treatment at a therapeutic center for alcohol addiction. This includes meals and lodging provided by the center during treatment.
You can also include in medical expenses amounts you pay for transportation to and from Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in your community if the attendance is pursuant to medical advice that membership in Alcoholics Anonymous is necessary for the treatment of a disease involving the excessive use of alcoholic liquors.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014788
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for ambulance service. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014789taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014790
You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay for an artificial limb. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014791
You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay for artificial teeth. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014792taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014793
You can include in medical expenses the cost of medical supplies such as bandages used to cover torn skin. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014794
You can include in medical expenses the cost of an electronic body scan.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014795
You can include in medical expenses the amounts you pay for breast reconstruction surgery following a mastectomy for cancer.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014796
You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay for birth control pills prescribed by a doctor. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014797
You can include in medical expenses the part of the cost of Braille books and magazines for use by a visually impaired person that is more than the cost of regular printed editions. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014798
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for special equipment installed in a home, or for improvements, if their main purpose is medical care for you, your spouse, or your dependent. The cost of permanent improvements that increase the value of your property may be partly included as a medical expense. The cost of the improvement is reduced by the increase in the value of your property. The difference is a medical expense. If the value of your property is not increased by the improvement, the entire cost is included as a medical expense.
Certain improvements made to accommodate a home to your disabled condition, or that of your spouse or your dependents who live with you, do not usually increase the value of the home and the cost can be included in full as medical expenses. These improvements include, but are not limited to, the following items.
- Constructing entrance or exit ramps for your home.
- Widening doorways at entrances or exits to your home.
- Widening or otherwise modifying hallways and interior doorways.
- Installing railings, support bars, or other modifications to bathrooms.
- Lowering or modifying kitchen cabinets and equipment.
- Moving or modifying electrical outlets and fixtures.
- Installing porch lifts and other forms of lifts (but elevators generally add value to the house).
- Modifying fire alarms, smoke detectors, and other warning systems.
- Modifying stairways.
- Adding handrails or grab bars anywhere (whether or not in bathrooms).
- Modifying hardware on doors.
- Modifying areas in front of entrance and exit doorways.
- Grading the ground to provide access to the residence.
Only reasonable costs to accommodate a home to a disabled condition are considered medical care. Additional costs for personal motives, such as for architectural or aesthetic reasons, are not medical expenses. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014799
Use Worksheet A to figure the amount of your capital expense to include in your medical expenses. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#w15002q01
Worksheet A. Capital Expense Worksheet
|Instructions: Use this worksheet to figure the amount, if any, of your medical expenses due to a home improvement. |
|1.||Enter the amount you paid for the home improvement||1.|| |
|2.||Enter the value of your home immediately after the improvement||2.|| || || |
|3.||Enter the value of your home immediately before the improvement||3.|| || || |
|4.||Subtract line 3 from line 2. This is the increase in the value of your home due to the improvement.||4.|| |
| ||• If line 4 is more than or equal to line 1, you have no medical expenses due to the home improvement; stop here.|| || |
| ||• If line 4 is less than line 1, go to line 5.|| || |
|5.||Subtract line 4 from line 1. These are your medical expenses due to the home improvement||5.|| |
You have a heart ailment. On your doctor's advice, you install an elevator in your home so that you will not have to climb stairs. The elevator costs $8,000. An appraisal shows that the elevator increases the value of your home by $4,400. You figure your medical expense as shown in the filled-in example of Worksheet A.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#w15002q02
Worksheet A. Capital Expense Worksheet—Illustrated
|Instructions: Use this worksheet to figure the amount, if any, of your medical expenses due to a home improvement. |
|1.||Enter the amount you paid for the home improvement||1.||8,000|
|2.||Enter the value of your home immediately after the improvement||2.||124,400|| || |
|3.||Enter the value of your home immediately before the improvement||3.||120,000|| || |
|4.||Subtract line 3 from line 2. This is the increase in the value of your home due to the improvement.||4.||4,400|
| ||• If line 4 is more than or equal to line 1, you have no medical expenses due to the home improvement; stop here.|| || |
| ||• If line 4 is less than line 1, go to line 5.|| || |
|5.||Subtract line 4 from line 1. These are your medical expenses due to the home improvement||5.||3,600|
Amounts you pay for operation and upkeep of a capital asset qualify as medical expenses, as long as the main reason for them is medical care. This rule applies even if none or only part of the original cost of the capital asset qualified as a medical care expense. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014802
If, in the previous example, the elevator increased the value of your home by $8,000, you would have no medical expense for the cost of the elevator. However, the cost of electricity to operate the elevator and any costs to maintain it are medical expenses as long as the medical reason for the elevator exists. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014803
Amounts paid to buy and install special plumbing fixtures for a person with a disability, mainly for medical reasons, in a rented house are medical expenses.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014804
John has arthritis and a heart condition. He cannot climb stairs or get into a bathtub. On his doctor's advice, he installs a bathroom with a shower stall on the first floor of his two-story rented house. The landlord did not pay any of the cost of buying and installing the special plumbing and did not lower the rent. John can include in medical expenses the entire amount he paid.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014805
You can include in medical expenses the cost of special hand controls and other special equipment installed in a car for the use of a person with a disability. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014806
You can include in medical expenses the difference between the cost of a regular car and a car specially designed to hold a wheelchair. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014807
The includible costs of using a car for medical reasons are explained under Transportation
You can include in medical expenses fees you pay to a chiropractor for medical care. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014809
You can include in medical expenses fees you pay to Christian Science practitioners for medical care. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014810
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for contact lenses needed for medical reasons. You can also include the cost of equipment and materials required for using contact lenses, such as saline solution and enzyme cleaner. See Eyeglasses
and Eye Surgery
You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay to buy or rent crutches. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014812
You can include in medical expenses the amounts you pay for dental treatment. This includes fees paid to dentists for X-rays, fillings, braces, extractions, dentures, etc. But see Teeth Whitening
under What Expenses Are Not Includible
You can include in medical expenses the cost of devices used in diagnosing and treating illness and disease.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014814
You have diabetes and use a blood sugar test kit to monitor your blood sugar level. You can include the cost of the blood sugar test kit in your medical expenses.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014815
Some disabled dependent care expenses may qualify as either:
- Medical expenses, or
- Work-related expenses for purposes of taking a credit for dependent care.
You can choose to apply them either way as long as you do not use the same expenses to claim both a credit and a medical expense deduction.
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for an inpatient's treatment at a therapeutic center for drug addiction. This includes meals and lodging at the center during treatment. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014817taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014818
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for eyeglasses and contact lenses needed for medical reasons. You can also include fees paid for eye examinations. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014819
You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay for eye surgery to treat defective vision, such as laser eye surgery or radial keratotomy. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014820
You can include in medical expenses the cost of the following procedures to overcome an inability to have children.
- Procedures such as in vitro fertilization (including temporary storage of eggs or sperm).
- Surgery, including an operation to reverse prior surgery that prevented the person operated on from having children.
You can include in medical expenses the costs of buying, training, and maintaining a guide dog or other service animal to assist a visually-impaired or hearing-impaired person, or a person with other physical disabilities. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014823
You can include in medical expenses fees you pay for treatment at a health institute only if the treatment is prescribed by a physician and the physician issues a statement that the treatment is necessary to alleviate a physical or mental defect or illness of the individual receiving the treatment. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014824
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay to entitle you, your spouse, or a dependent to receive medical care from a health maintenance organization. These amounts are treated as medical insurance premiums. See Insurance Premiums
You can include in medical expenses the cost of a hearing aid and the batteries you buy to operate it. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014826taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014827taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014828
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for the cost of inpatient care at a hospital or similar institution if a principal reason for being there is to receive medical care. This includes amounts paid for meals and lodging. Also see Lodging
You can include in medical expenses insurance premiums you pay for policies that cover medical care. Medical care policies can provide payment for treatment that includes:
If you have a policy that provides payments for other than medical care, you can include the premiums for the medical care part of the policy if the charge for the medical part is reasonable. The cost of the medical part must be separately stated in the insurance contract or given to you in a separate statement.
When figuring the amount of insurance premiums you can include in medical expenses on Schedule A, do not include any health coverage tax credit advance payments shown in box 1 of Form 1099-H, Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) Advance Payments.
Do not include in your medical and dental expenses any insurance premiums paid by an employer-sponsored health insurance plan unless the premiums are included in box 1 of your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Also, do not include any other medical and dental expenses paid by the plan unless the amount paid is included in box 1 of your Form W-2. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014832
You are a federal employee participating in the premium conversion plan of the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) program. Your share of the FEHB premium is paid by making a pre-tax reduction in your salary. Because you are an employee whose insurance premiums are paid with money that is never included in your gross income, you cannot deduct the premiums paid with that money.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014833
Contributions made by your employer to provide coverage for qualified long-term care services under a flexible spending or similar arrangement must be included in your income. This amount will be reported as wages in box 1 of your Form W-2. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100049887
If you are a retired public safety officer, do not include as medical expenses any health or long-term care insurance premiums that you elected to have paid with tax-free distributions from a retirement plan. This applies only to distributions that would otherwise be included in income.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014834
If you have medical expenses that are reimbursed by a health reimbursement arrangement, you cannot include those expenses in your medical expenses. This is because an HRA is funded solely by the employer.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014835
If you are covered under social security (or if you are a government employee who paid Medicare tax), you are enrolled in Medicare A. The payroll tax paid for Medicare A is not a medical expense. If you are not covered under social security (or were not a government employee who paid Medicare tax), you can voluntarily enroll in Medicare A. In this situation you can include the premiums you paid for Medicare A as a medical expense. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014836
Medicare B is a supplemental medical insurance. Premiums you pay for Medicare B are a medical expense. If you applied for it at age 65 or after you became disabled, you can include in medical expenses the monthly premiums you paid. If you were over age 65 or disabled when you first enrolled, check the information you received from the Social Security Administration to find out your premium.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014837
Medicare D is a voluntary prescription drug insurance program for persons with Medicare A or B. You can include as a medical expense premiums you pay for Medicare D. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014838
Premiums you pay before you are age 65 for insurance for medical care for yourself, your spouse, or your dependents after you reach age 65 are medical care expenses in the year paid if they are:
- Payable in equal yearly installments or more often, and
- Payable for at least 10 years, or until you reach age 65 (but not for less than 5 years).
You must include in gross income cash payments you receive at the time of retirement for unused sick leave. You also must include in gross income the value of unused sick leave that, at your option, your employer applies to the cost of your continuing participation in your employer's health plan after you retire. You can include this cost of continuing participation in the health plan as a medical expense.
If you participate in a health plan where your employer automatically applies the value of unused sick leave to the cost of your continuing participation in the health plan (and you do not have the option to receive cash), do not include the value of the unused sick leave in gross income. You cannot include this cost of continuing participation in that health plan as a medical expense.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014840
You cannot include premiums you pay for:
- Life insurance policies,
- Policies providing payment for loss of earnings,
- Policies for loss of life, limb, sight, etc.,
- Policies that pay you a guaranteed amount each week for a stated number of weeks if you are hospitalized for sickness or injury,
- The part of your car insurance that provides medical insurance coverage for all persons injured in or by your car because the part of the premium providing insurance for you, your spouse, and your dependents is not stated separately from the part of the premium providing insurance for medical care for others, or
- Health or long-term care insurance if you elected to pay these premiums with tax-free distributions from a retirement plan made directly to the insurance provider and these distributions would otherwise have been included in income.
Taxes imposed by any governmental unit, such as Medicare taxes, are not insurance premiums.
You can include in medical expenses the cost of keeping a person who is intellectually and developmentally disabled (mentally retarded) in a special home, not the home of a relative, on the recommendation of a psychiatrist to help the person adjust from life in a mental hospital to community living. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014841
You can include in medical expenses the amounts you pay for laboratory fees that are part of medical care. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014842
You can include in medical expenses the cost of removing lead-based paints from surfaces in your home to prevent a child who has or had lead poisoning from eating the paint. These surfaces must be in poor repair (peeling or cracking) or within the child's reach. The cost of repainting the scraped area is not a medical expense.
If, instead of removing the paint, you cover the area with wallboard or paneling, treat these items as capital expenses. See Capital Expenses
, earlier. Do not include the cost of painting the wallboard as a medical expense.
You can include in medical expenses legal fees you paid that are necessary to authorize treatment for mental illness. However, you cannot include in medical expenses fees for the management of a guardianship estate, fees for conducting the affairs of the person being treated, or other fees that are not necessary for medical care. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014845
You can include in medical expenses a part of a life-care fee or "founder's fee" you pay either monthly or as a lump sum under an agreement with a retirement home. The part of the payment you include is the amount properly allocable to medical care. The agreement must require that you pay a specific fee as a condition for the home's promise to provide lifetime care that includes medical care. You can use a statement from the retirement home to prove the amount properly allocable to medical care. The statement must be based either on the home's prior experience or on information from a comparable home.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014846
You can include in medical expenses advance payments to a private institution for lifetime care, treatment, and training of your physically or mentally impaired child upon your death or when you become unable to provide care. The payments must be a condition for the institution's future acceptance of your child and must not be refundable. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014847
Generally, you cannot include in medical expenses current payments for medical care (including medical insurance) to be provided substantially beyond the end of the year. This rule does not apply in situations where the future care is purchased in connection with obtaining lifetime care of the type described earlier. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014848
You can include in medical expenses the cost of meals and lodging at a hospital or similar institution if a principal reason for being there is to receive medical care. See Nursing Home
You may be able to include in medical expenses the cost of lodging not provided in a hospital or similar institution. You can include the cost of such lodging while away from home if all of the following requirements are met.
- The lodging is primarily for and essential to medical care.
- The medical care is provided by a doctor in a licensed hospital or in a medical care facility related to, or the equivalent of, a licensed hospital.
- The lodging is not lavish or extravagant under the circumstances.
- There is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel away from home.
The amount you include in medical expenses for lodging cannot be more than $50 for each night for each person. You can include lodging for a person traveling with the person receiving the medical care. For example, if a parent is traveling with a sick child, up to $100 per night can be included as a medical expense for lodging. Meals are not included.
Do not include the cost of lodging while away from home for medical treatment if that treatment is not received from a doctor in a licensed hospital or in a medical care facility related to, or the equivalent of, a licensed hospital or if that lodging is not primarily for or essential to the medical care received. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014849
You can include in medical expenses amounts paid for qualified long-term care services and premiums paid for qualified long-term care insurance contracts.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014850
Qualified long-term care services are necessary diagnostic, preventive, therapeutic, curing, treating, mitigating, rehabilitative services, and maintenance and personal care services (defined later) that are:
- Required by a chronically ill individual, and
- Provided pursuant to a plan of care prescribed by a licensed health care practitioner.
An individual is chronically ill if, within the previous 12 months, a licensed health care practitioner has certified that the individual meets either of the following descriptions.
- He or she is unable to perform at least two activities of daily living without substantial assistance from another individual for at least 90 days, due to a loss of functional capacity. Activities of daily living are eating, toileting, transferring, bathing, dressing, and continence.
- He or she requires substantial supervision to be protected from threats to health and safety due to severe cognitive impairment.
Maintenance or personal care services is care which has as its primary purpose the providing of a chronically ill individual with needed assistance with his or her disabilities (including protection from threats to health and safety due to severe cognitive impairment).taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014853
A qualified long-term care insurance contract is an insurance contract that provides only coverage of qualified long-term care services. The contract must:
- Be guaranteed renewable,
- Not provide for a cash surrender value or other money that can be paid, assigned, pledged, or borrowed,
- Provide that refunds, other than refunds on the death of the insured or complete surrender or cancellation of the contract, and dividends under the contract must be used only to reduce future premiums or increase future benefits, and
- Generally not pay or reimburse expenses incurred for services or items that would be reimbursed under Medicare, except where Medicare is a secondary payer, or the contract makes per diem or other periodic payments without regard to expenses.
The amount of qualified long-term care premiums you can include is limited. You can include the following as medical expenses on Schedule A (Form 1040).
- Qualified long-term care premiums up to the amounts shown below.
- Age 40 or under – $310.
- Age 41 to 50 – $580.
- Age 51 to 60 – $1,150.
- Age 61 to 70 – $3,080.
- Age 71 or over – $3,850.
- Unreimbursed expenses for qualified long-term care services.
The limit on premiums is for each person.
Also, you cannot include premiums for long-term care insurance if you elected to pay these premiums with tax-free distributions from a qualified retirement plan made directly to the insurance provider and these distributions would otherwise have been included in income.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014854
You can include in medical expenses the cost of meals at a hospital or similar institution if a principal reason for being there is to get medical care.
You cannot include in medical expenses the cost of meals that are not part of inpatient care. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014855
You can include in medical expenses amounts paid for admission and transportation to a medical conference if the medical conference concerns the chronic illness of yourself, your spouse, or your dependent. The costs of the medical conference must be primarily for and necessary to the medical care of you, your spouse, or your dependent. The majority of the time spent at the conference must be spent attending sessions on medical information.
The cost of meals and lodging while attending the conference is not deductible as a medical expense.
You can include in medical expenses amounts paid to a plan that keeps medical information in a computer data bank and retrieves and furnishes the information upon request to an attending physician. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014858
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for legal medical services provided by:
- Specialists, or
- Other medical practitioners.
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for prescribed medicines and drugs. A prescribed drug is one that requires a prescription by a doctor for its use by an individual. You can also include amounts you pay for insulin. Except for insulin, you cannot include in medical expenses amounts you pay for a drug that is not prescribed. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014860taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014862
You can include in medical expenses the cost of medical care in a nursing home, home for the aged, or similar institution, for yourself, your spouse, or your dependents. This includes the cost of meals and lodging in the home if a principal reason for being there is to get medical care.
Do not include the cost of meals and lodging if the reason for being in the home is personal. You can, however, include in medical expenses the part of the cost that is for medical or nursing care. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014863
You can include in medical expenses wages and other amounts you pay for nursing services. The services need not be performed by a nurse as long as the services are of a kind generally performed by a nurse. This includes services connected with caring for the patient's condition, such as giving medication or changing dressings, as well as bathing and grooming the patient. These services can be provided in your home or another care facility.
Generally, only the amount spent for nursing services is a medical expense. If the attendant also provides personal and household services, amounts paid to the attendant must be divided between the time spent performing household and personal services and the time spent for nursing services. However, certain maintenance or personal care services provided for qualified long-term care can be included in medical expenses. See Maintenance and personal care services
under Long-Term Care
, earlier. Additionally, certain expenses for household services or for the care of a qualifying individual incurred to allow you to work may qualify for the child and dependent care credit. See Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses.
You can also include in medical expenses part of the amount you pay for that attendant's meals. Divide the food expense among the household members to find the cost of the attendant's food. Then divide that cost in the same manner as in the preceding paragraph. If you had to pay additional amounts for household upkeep because of the attendant, you can include the extra amounts with your medical expenses. This includes extra rent or utilities you pay because you moved to a larger apartment to provide space for the attendant. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014864
You can include as a medical expense social security tax, FUTA, Medicare tax, and state employment taxes you pay for an attendant who provides medical care. If the attendant also provides personal and household services, you can include as a medical expense only the amount of employment taxes paid for medical services as explained earlier. For information on employment tax responsibilities of household employers, see Publication 926, Household Employer's Tax Guide. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014865taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014866taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014867taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014868
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay to an osteopath for medical care. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014869
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for oxygen and oxygen equipment to relieve breathing problems caused by a medical condition. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014870
You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay for an annual physical examination and diagnostic tests by a physician. You do not have to be ill at the time of the examination.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014871
Beth goes to see Dr. Hayes for her annual check-up. Dr. Hayes does a physical examination and has some lab tests done. Beth can include the cost of the exam and lab tests in her medical expenses, if her insurance does not cover the cost.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014872
You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay to purchase a pregnancy test kit to determine if you are pregnant.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014873taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014874
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for psychiatric care. This includes the cost of supporting a mentally ill dependent at a specially equipped medical center where the dependent receives medical care. See Psychoanalysis
, next, and Transportation
You can include in medical expenses payments for psychoanalysis. However, you cannot include payments for psychoanalysis that is part of required training to be a psychoanalyst. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014876
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay to a psychologist for medical care. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014877
You can include in medical expenses fees you pay on a doctor's recommendation for a child's tutoring by a teacher who is specially trained and qualified to work with children who have learning disabilities caused by mental or physical impairments, including nervous system disorders.
You can include in medical expenses the cost (tuition, meals, and lodging) of attending a school that furnishes special education to help a child to overcome learning disabilities. A doctor must recommend that the child attend the school. Overcoming the learning disabilities must be a principal reason for attending the school, and any ordinary education received must be incidental to the special education provided. Special education includes:
- Teaching Braille to a visually impaired person,
- Teaching lip reading to a hearing-impaired person, or
- Giving remedial language training to correct a condition caused by a birth defect.
You cannot include in medical expenses the cost of sending a problem child to a school where the course of study and the disciplinary methods have a beneficial effect on the child's attitude if the availability of medical care in the school is not a principal reason for sending the student there.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014878
You can include in medical expenses the cost of a legal sterilization (a legally performed operation to make a person unable to have children). taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014879
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for a program to stop smoking. However, you cannot include in medical expenses amounts you pay for drugs that do not require a prescription, such as nicotine gum or patches, that are designed to help stop smoking. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014880taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014881
You can include in medical expenses the cost of special telephone equipment that lets a hearing-impaired person communicate over a regular telephone. This includes teletypewriter (TTY) and telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) equipment. You can also include the cost of repairing the equipment.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014882
You can include in medical expenses the cost of equipment that displays the audio part of television programs as subtitles for hearing-impaired persons. This may be the cost of an adapter that attaches to a regular set. It also may be the part of the cost of a specially equipped television that exceeds the cost of the same model regular television set. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014883
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for therapy received as medical treatment. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014884
You can include any expenses you pay for medical care you receive because you are a donor or a possible donor of a kidney or other organ. This includes transportation.
You can include any expenses you pay for the medical care of a donor in connection with the donating of an organ. This includes transportation.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014885
You can include in medical expenses amounts paid for transportation primarily for, and essential to, medical care. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014886
- Bus, taxi, train, or plane fares or ambulance service,
- Transportation expenses of a parent who must go with a child who needs medical care,
- Transportation expenses of a nurse or other person who can give injections, medications, or other treatment required by a patient who is traveling to get medical care and is unable to travel alone, and
- Transportation expenses for regular visits to see a mentally ill dependent, if these visits are recommended as a part of treatment.
You can include out-of-pocket expenses, such as the cost of gas and oil, when you use a car for medical reasons. You cannot include depreciation, insurance, general repair, or maintenance expenses.
If you do not want to use your actual expenses, for 2008 you can use the standard medical mileage rate of 19 cents a mile from January 1 to June 30. Use a rate of 27 cents a mile for miles driven from July 1 to December 31.
You can also include parking fees and tolls. You can add these fees and tolls to your medical expenses whether you use actual expenses or use the standard mileage rate. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014888
Bill Jones drove 2,800 miles for medical reasons during the year. Bill drove 1,000 miles from January 1 to June 30, and 1,800 miles from July 1 to December 31. He spent $400 for gas, $30 for oil, and $100 for tolls and parking. He wants to figure the amount he can include in medical expenses both ways to see which gives him the greater deduction.
He figures the actual expenses first. He adds the $400 for gas, the $30 for oil, and the $100 for tolls and parking for a total of $530.
He then figures the standard mileage amount. He multiplies the 1,000 miles by 19 cents a mile and 1,800 miles by 27 cents for a total of $676. He then adds the $100 tolls and parking for a total of $776.
Bill includes the $776 of car expenses with his other medical expenses for the year because the $776 is more than the $530 he figured using actual expenses.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014889
You cannot include in medical expenses the cost of transportation in the following situations.
- Going to and from work, even if your condition requires an unusual means of transportation.
- Travel for purely personal reasons to another city for an operation or other medical care.
- Travel that is merely for the general improvement of one's health.
- The costs of operating a specially equipped car for other than medical reasons.
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for transportation to another city if the trip is primarily for, and essential to, receiving medical services. You may be able to include up to $50 per night for lodging. See Lodging
You cannot include in medical expenses a trip or vacation taken merely for a change in environment, improvement of morale, or general improvement of health, even if the trip is made on the advice of a doctor. However, see Medical Conferences
Under special circumstances, you can include charges for tuition in medical expenses. See Special Education,
You can include charges for a health plan included in a lump-sum tuition fee if the charges are separately stated or can easily be obtained from the school.taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014892
You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay for a vasectomy. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014893taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014894
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay to lose weight if it is a treatment for a specific disease diagnosed by a physician (such as obesity, hypertension, or heart disease). This includes fees you pay for membership in a weight reduction group as well as fees for attendance at periodic meetings. You cannot include membership dues in a gym, health club, or spa as medical expenses, but you can include separate fees charged there for weight loss activities.
You cannot include the cost of diet food or beverages in medical expenses because the diet food and beverages substitute for what is normally consumed to satisfy nutritional needs. You can include the cost of special food in medical expenses only if:
- The food does not satisfy normal nutritional needs,
- The food alleviates or treats an illness, and
- The need for the food is substantiated by a physician.
The amount you can include in medical expenses is limited to the amount by which the cost of the special food exceeds the cost of a normal diet. See also Weight-Loss Program
under What Expenses Are Not Includible,
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for an autoette or a wheelchair used mainly for the relief of sickness or disability, and not just to provide transportation to and from work. The cost of operating and maintaining the autoette or wheelchair is also a medical expense. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014896
You can include in medical expenses the cost of a wig purchased upon the advice of a physician for the mental health of a patient who has lost all of his or her hair from disease. taxmap/pubs/p502-004.htm#en_us_publink100014897
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for X-rays for medical reasons.