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What are Tax Deductible Medical Expenses?

By Dian Brannen, 10:55 pm on

If you care for an aging parent or loved one, you are likely responsible for a number of activities, including filing his or her taxes. With tax season upon us, we thought it would be helpful to share some information about tax deductible medical expenses. The following are some of the most common medical deductions made by seniors, and some conditions that must be met before filing.

Itemizing Taxes

To claim medical deductions, your loved one must itemize his or her taxes.  The medical expenses that can be claimed are only the portion that exceeds 7.5% (10% beginning in 2017) of their adjusted gross income. For the average taxpayer, reaching this percentage may be difficult. However, seniors and older adults often spend a higher percentage of their income on healthcare, and are more likely to qualify for deductions.

What is Deductible?

Medicare premiums for Parts B and D can be deducted. Many people are surprised to learn that mileage used traveling to healthcare is deductible, at the rate of 23.5 per mile, or the actual cost of bus, train, or plane fare. Up to $100 per night for lodging is deductible, including the patient and one person traveling with them. Meals directly related to the medical treatment are also eligible. Receipts must be kept to substantiate the expenses.

Medical Costs 

The most common expenses that can be deducted are:

  • Doctor’s fees, including specialists, chiropractors, psychologists or psychiatrist.
  • Prescriptions. This does not include medications that are not FDA approved.
  • Lab tests
  • Supplies and equipment including crutches, wheelchairs, walkers and even hearing aids.
  • Dental treatment including x-rays, cleanings and dentures.
  • Hospital care including operations, operating rooms or expenses related to a hospital stay.
  • Construction costs for home modification because of a medical condition.

Deductible expenses don’t have to be supplied by a licensed or registered nurse. The cost of hiring anyone, such as a live-in or part-time caregiver in the Lehigh Valley, to perform personal care services like bathing, dressing and grooming, may be included. Expenses that are not deductible are cosmetic surgery, funeral expenses, gym memberships, or weight loss programs.

This is a general guideline to the tax deductible options for seniors. For more specific information, see IRS Publication 502, or contact a tax professional, and help the senior in your life get all the tax breaks available to them.

If you are considering home care for an aging parent or loved one in 2015, schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with Home Care Assistance of the Lehigh Valley. As a local and trusted home care agency, you can rest assured that all of our caregivers are experienced, licensed and bonded, and we take care of all caregiver tax paperwork and workers’ compensation so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Reach out to us today at 484-350-3874 – we look forward to hearing from you.