You generally can deduct the ordinary and necessary cost of insurance as a business expense if it is for your trade, business, or profession. However, you may have to capitalize certain insurance costs under the uniform capitalization rules. For more information, see Capitalized Premiums
You may want to see:
Publication 15-B Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits 525 Taxable and Nontaxable Income 538 Accounting Periods and Methods 547 Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts Form (and Instructions) 1040: U.S. Individual Income Tax Return taxmap/pubs/p535-023.htm#en_us_publink1000208842
See chapter 12
for information about getting publications and forms.
You generally can deduct premiums you pay for the following kinds of insurance related to your trade or business.
- Insurance that covers fire, storm, theft, accident, or similar losses.
- Credit insurance that covers losses from business bad debts.
- Group hospitalization and medical insurance for employees, including long-term care insurance.
- If a partnership pays accident and health insurance premiums for its partners, it generally can deduct them as guaranteed payments to partners.
- If an S corporation pays accident and health insurance premiums for its more-than-2% shareholder-employees, it generally can deduct them, but must also include them in the shareholder's wages subject to federal income tax withholding. See Publication 15-B.
- Liability insurance.
- Malpractice insurance that covers your personal liability for professional negligence resulting in injury or damage to patients or clients.
- Workers' compensation insurance set by state law that covers any claims for bodily injuries or job-related diseases suffered by employees in your business, regardless of fault.
- If a partnership pays workers' compensation premiums for its partners, it generally can deduct them as guaranteed payments to partners.
- If an S corporation pays workers' compensation premiums for its more-than-2% shareholder-employees, it generally can deduct them, but must also include them in the shareholder's wages.
- Contributions to a state unemployment insurance fund are deductible as taxes if they are considered taxes under state law.
- Overhead insurance that pays for business overhead expenses you have during long periods of disability caused by your injury or sickness.
- Car and other vehicle insurance that covers vehicles used in your business for liability, damages, and other losses. If you operate a vehicle partly for personal use, deduct only the part of the insurance premium that applies to the business use of the vehicle. If you use the standard mileage rate to figure your car expenses, you cannot deduct any car insurance premiums.
- Life insurance covering your officers and employees if you are not directly or indirectly a beneficiary under the contract.
- Business interruption insurance that pays for lost profits if your business is shut down due to a fire or other cause.
You may be able to deduct premiums paid for medical and dental insurance and qualified long-term care insurance for you, your spouse, and your dependents if you are one of the following.
- A self-employed individual with a net profit reported on Schedule C (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Business; Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040), Net Profit From Business; or Schedule F (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Farming.
- A partner with net earnings from self-employment reported on Schedule K-1 (Form 1065), Partner's Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc., box 14, code A.
- A shareholder owning more than 2% of the outstanding stock of an S corporation with wages from the corporation reported on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.
The insurance plan must be established, or considered to be established as discussed in the following bullets, under your business.
- For self-employed individuals filing a Schedule C, C-EZ, or F, a policy can be either in the name of the business or in the name of the individual.
- For partners, a policy can be either in the name of the partnership or in the name of the partner. You can either pay the premiums yourself or your partnership can pay them and report the premium amounts on Schedule K-1 (Form 1065) as guaranteed payments to be included in your gross income. However, if the policy is in your name and you pay the premiums yourself, the partnership must reimburse you and report the premium amounts on Schedule K-1 (Form 1065) as guaranteed payments to be included in your gross income. Otherwise, the insurance plan will not be considered to be established under your business.
- For more-than-2% shareholders, a policy can be either in the name of the S corporation or in the name of the shareholder. You can either pay the premiums yourself or your S corporation can pay them and report the premium amounts on Form W-2 as wages to be included in your gross income. However, if the policy is in your name and you pay the premiums yourself, the S corporation must reimburse you and report the premium amounts on Form W-2 as wages to be included in your gross income. Otherwise, the insurance plan will not be considered to be established under your business.
Medicare Part B premiums are not considered medical insurance premiums for purposes of the self-employed health insurance deduction.
Take the deduction on Form 1040, line 29.taxmap/pubs/p535-023.htm#en_us_publink1000208845
You can include premiums paid on a qualified long-term care insurance contract for you, your spouse, or your dependents when figuring your deduction. But, for each person covered, you can include only the smaller of the following amounts.
- The amount paid for that person.
- The amount shown below. Use the person's age at the end of the tax year.
- Age 40 or younger–$320
- Age 41 to 50–$600
- Age 51 to 60–$1,190
- Age 61 to 70–$3,180
- Age 71 or older–$3,980
A qualified long-term care insurance contract is an insurance contract that only provides coverage of qualified long-term care services. The contract must meet all the following requirements.
- It must be guaranteed renewable.
- It must 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 may be used only to reduce future premiums or increase future benefits.
- It must not provide for a cash surrender value or other money that can be paid, assigned, pledged, or borrowed.
- It generally must 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.
Qualified long-term care services are:
- Necessary diagnostic, preventive, therapeutic, curing, treating, mitigating, and rehabilitative services, and
- Maintenance or personal care services.
The services must be required by a chronically ill individual and prescribed by a licensed health care practitioner.
A chronically ill individual is a person who has been certified as one of the following.
- An individual who has been unable, due to loss of functional capacity for at least 90 days, to perform at least two activities of daily living without substantial assistance from another individual. Activities of daily living are eating, toileting, transferring (general mobility), bathing, dressing, and continence.
- An individual who requires substantial supervision to be protected from threats to health and safety due to severe cognitive impairment.
The certification must have been made by a licensed health care practitioner within the previous 12 months.
For information on excluding benefits you receive from a long-term care contract from gross income, see Publication 525.taxmap/pubs/p535-023.htm#en_us_publink1000208850
You cannot take the deduction for any month you were eligible to participate in any employer (including your spouse's) subsidized health plan at any time during that month, even if you did not actually participate. This rule is applied separately to plans that provide long-term care insurance and plans that do not provide long-term care insurance. However, any medical insurance payments not deductible on Form 1040, line 29, can be included as medical expenses on Schedule A (Form 1040), Itemized Deductions, if you itemize deductions. taxmap/pubs/p535-023.htm#en_us_publink1000208851
Subtract the health insurance deduction from your medical insurance when figuring medical expenses on Schedule A (Form 1040) if you itemize deductions. taxmap/pubs/p535-023.htm#en_us_publink1000208852
Do not subtract the health insurance deduction when figuring net earnings for your self-employment tax. taxmap/pubs/p535-023.htm#en_us_publink1000208853
Generally, you can use the worksheet in the Form 1040 instructions to figure your deduction. However, if any of the following apply, you must use Worksheet 6-A in this chapter.
- You had more than one source of income subject to self-employment tax.
- You file Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income, or Form 2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.
- You are using amounts paid for qualified long-term care insurance to figure the deduction.
If you are claiming the health coverage tax credit, complete Form 8885, Health Coverage Tax Credit, before you figure this deduction.
You may be able to take this credit only if you were an eligible trade adjustment assistance (TAA) recipient, alternative TAA (ATAA) recipient, reemployment trade adjustment assistance (RTAA) recipient, or Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation pension recipient. Use Form 8885 to figure the amount, if any, of this credit.
When figuring the amount to enter on line 1 of Worksheet 6-A, do not include the following.
- Any amounts paid from retirement plan distributions that were nontaxable because you are a retired public safety officer.
- Any amounts you included on Form 8885, line 4.
- Any qualified health insurance premiums you paid to "U.S. Treasury-HCTC."
- Any health coverage tax credit advance payments shown in box 1 of Form 1099-H, Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) Advance Payments.
If you have more than one health plan during the year and each plan is established under a different business, you must use separate worksheets (Worksheet 6-A) to figure each plan's net earnings limit. Include the premium you paid under each plan on line 1 or line 2 of that separate worksheet and your net profit (or wages) from that business on line 4 (or line 11). For a plan that provides long-term care insurance, the total of the amounts entered for each person on line 2 of all worksheets cannot be more than the appropriate limit shown on line 2 for that person.