How to Claim Medical Tax Deductions

April 13, 2018

When it comes time to file your tax return, it is to your benefit to know the best way to claim deductions and credits to minimize your tax liability. You can claim certain expenses on your taxes as a tax deduction, but there tends to be a certain amount that you must spend before it becomes worthwhile to do so. You might find it best to discuss it with your tax advisors.

What Is a Medical Expense?

Not every non-reimbursed expense you might consider a medical expense qualifies as one for your taxes. Examples of qualifying expenses include:

Doctor’s visits
Eye care
Dental care
Preventative care
Prescribed medications
Psychology and psychiatrist visits
Necessary dental procedures
Glasses and contacts
Hearing aids

You can also deduct certain additional expenses, such as travel fees or parking fees. Additionally, you might not be able to deduct expenses for voluntary procedures, such as cosmetic procedures, as well as over the counter medication, vitamins and supplements, gym fees and similar costs.

How Do You Claim the Deduction?

In order to qualify for the medical expense deduction, you must pay an amount that exceeds 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income. Additionally, you must itemize your deductions, which means you do not take the standard deduction. As such, all your deductions including your medical expenses must be higher than the standard deduction for it to benefit you. Working with Los Angeles tax preparation services can make it easier to determine if you should itemize your deductions or use the standard deduction.  
One thing to note is that your 2017 tax return, which you file in 2018, might be the last one that you need to worry about medical expenses. The new tax reform bill made significant changes to the tax law, which also impact medical deductions by increasing the amount that you must pay before you can deduct them on your tax return and significantly raising the standard deduction amount. Discuss this with your Encino tax consultants or find more information on the new tax code at Wallace APC’s website.