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Publication 17

Chapter 21
Medical and Dental Expenses(p145)

What's New(p145)

Standard mileage rate.(p145)
The standard mileage rate allowed for operating expenses for a car when you use it for medical reasons is:
  • 19 cents per mile from January 1-June 30, and
  • 23.5 cents per mile from July 1-December 31, 2011.
See Transportation under What Medical Expenses Are Includible.
Health coverage tax credit.(p145)
The credit decreases to 72.5% (.725) for amounts paid for qualified health insurance coverage after February 2011. For more information, see Health Coverage Tax Credit in chapter 36 or Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses.
This chapter will help you determine the following.


Useful items

You may want to see:

 502 Medical and Dental Expenses
 969 Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans
Form (and Instructions)
 Schedule A (Form 1040): Itemized Deductions

What Are Medical Expenses?(p145)

Medical expenses are the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body. These expenses include payments for legal medical services rendered by physicians, surgeons, dentists, and other medical practitioners. They include the costs of equipment, supplies, and diagnostic devices needed for these purposes.
Medical care expenses must be primarily to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental defect or illness. They do not include expenses that are merely beneficial to general health, such as vitamins or a vacation.
Medical expenses include the premiums you pay for insurance that covers the expenses of medical care, and the amounts you pay for transportation to get medical care. Medical expenses also include amounts paid for qualified long-term care services and limited amounts paid for any qualified long-term care insurance contract.