It’s getting more and more difficult to claim medical tax deductions. That’s because you can only claim those tax deductions once they exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income. So you’ve got to do your best to maximize every opportunity you can to do smart tax planning. Here are five of the most overlooked medical tax deductions to help you do just that.
- Medical Transportation
You don’t have to take a trip in an ambulance to claim transportation costs as a medical deduction. If your travel is related to a medical need, you can deduct it. That’s right. Planes, trains, and automobiles are all fair game (including cab rides). On top of that, you can add medical transportation costs for yourself and your children too if they need medical care. And if you use a car, those costs include parking costs, tolls, and mileage.
- Health Insurance Premiums
You may be able to use premiums you pay for health insurance towards that 10% threshold. And long-term health care premiums are deductible too – but there are limits and restrictions.
First, keep in mind that there are different types of long-term care insurance policies. The IRS only allows you to deduct your long-term care insurance premiums if the policy you have is “qualified.” How do you know if you have a qualified policy or not? Simple. Call the insurance broker who sold you the policy or call the company directly, and they’ll tell you. Most policies sold these days qualify, so you probably won’t have a problem.
- Medical Weight Loss
If a doctor treats a medical condition that you have (such as obesity, hypertension or heart disease) and tells you to slim down, you can include the costs associated with your weight loss program. That includes the costs to join a gym, weight loss support groups, etc.
- For Your Eyes Only
You can deduct the cost of eye exams, glasses, and contact lenses
- Home Improvements
If you have a health condition that requires you to make improvements on your home, those costs may be includable as well
Say you must have a ramp installed outside your home to give you wheelchair access. Let’s say the retrofit cost a total of $20,000. To include a portion of that expense, you must get your home appraised both before and after you have the work done. Let’s say your house was worth $210,000 before the improvement was made and $215,000 after the work was complete. So even though you spent $20,000 for the improvements, the home value only went up by $5,000. The difference ($15,000) is what you can use as a medical deduction.
Remember that you can use these and other medical deductions if you or your dependent the beneficiary of these expenditures. You can also stake a claim for these expenses if they were spent on someone for whom you provide more than half their support.