What Medically Related Expenses

Are Deductible at Tax Time?

*We are not tax preparers, IRS employees or attorneys. The information below should be verified using the official IRS website, call center or other official source.

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Someone with Lyme and tick borne diseases usually has more medical expenses than the average citizen. The list below is only some of the "medical expenses" that may be deductible. For a full list of medically related expenses prepared by the IRS, please click here. For free help with your taxes please see the information shared below at the bottom of this page.

Quotes From The IRS WEBSITE- 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.

The following are listed as deductible expenses.

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Electronic Body Scan

Certain improvements made to accommodate a home to your disabled condition, or that of your spouse or your dependents who live with you, do not usually increase the value of the home and the cost can be included in full as medical expenses. These improvements include, but are not limited to, the following items.

Constructing entrance or exit ramps for your home.

Widening doorways at entrances or exits to your home.

Widening or otherwise modifying hallways and interior doorways.

Installing railings, support bars, or other modifications to bathrooms.

Lowering or modifying kitchen cabinets and equipment.

Moving or modifying electrical outlets and fixtures.

Installing porch lifts and other forms of lifts (but elevators generally add value to the house).

Modifying fire alarms, smoke detectors, and other warning systems.

Modifying stairways.

Adding handrails or grab bars anywhere (whether or not in bathrooms).

Modifying hardware on doors.

Modifying areas in front of entrance and exit doorways.

Grading the ground to provide access to the residence.

[Only reasonable costs to accommodate a home to a disabled condition are considered medical care. Additional costs for personal motives, such as for architectural or aesthetic reasons, are not medical expenses.]

Insurance Premiums

You can include in medical expenses insurance premiums you pay for policies that cover medical care. Medical care policies can provide payment for treatment that includes:

Hospitalization, surgical services, X-rays,

Prescription drugs and insulin,

Dental care,

Replacement of lost or damaged contact lenses, and

Long-term care (subject to additional limitations). See Qualified Long-Term Care Insurance Contracts under Long-Term Care, later.- If you have a policy that provides payments for other than medical care, you can include the premiums for the medical care part of the policy if the charge for the medical part is reasonable. The cost of the medical part must be separately stated in the insurance contract or given to you in a separate statement.

Qualified Long-Term Care Services- Qualified long-term care services are necessary diagnostic, preventive, therapeutic, curing, treating, mitigating, rehabilitative services, and maintenance and personal care services (defined later) that are:

Required by a chronically ill individual, and

Provided pursuant to a plan of care prescribed by a licensed health care practitioner.

Maintenance and personal care services. Maintenance or personal care services is care which has as its primary purpose the providing of a chronically ill individual with needed assistance with his or her disabilities (including protection from threats to health and safety due to severe cognitive impairment).

Medical Conferences- You can include in medical expenses amounts paid for admission and transportation to a medical conference if the medical conference concerns the chronic illness of yourself, your spouse, or your dependent. The costs of the medical conference must be primarily for and necessary to the medical care of you, your spouse, or your dependent. The majority of the time spent at the conference must be spent attending sessions on medical information. The cost of meals and lodging while attending the conference is not deductible as a medical expense.

Transportation- You can include in medical expenses amounts paid for transportation primarily for, and essential to, medical care. You can include:

Bus, taxi, train, or plane fares or ambulance service,

Transportation expenses of a parent who must go with a child who needs medical care,

Transportation expenses of a nurse or other person who can give injections, medications, or other treatment required by a patient who is traveling to get medical care and is unable to travel alone, and

Transportation expenses for regular visits to see a mentally ill dependent, if these visits are recommended as a part of treatment.

Car expenses. You can include out-of-pocket expenses, such as the cost of gas and oil, when you use a car for medical reasons. You cannot include depreciation, insurance, general repair, or maintenance expenses. If you do not want to use your actual expenses for 2013, you can use the standard medical mileage rate of 24 cents a mile. You can also include parking fees and tolls. You can add these fees and tolls to your medical expenses whether you use actual expenses or the standard mileage rate.

Weight-Loss Program- You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay to lose weight if it is a treatment for a specific disease diagnosed by a physician (such as obesity, hypertension, or heart disease). This includes fees you pay for membership in a weight reduction group as well as fees for attendance at periodic meetings. You cannot include membership dues in a gym, health club, or spa as medical expenses, but you can include separate fees charged there for weight loss activities. You cannot include the cost of diet food or beverages in medical expenses because the diet food and beverages substitute for what is normally consumed to satisfy nutritional needs. You can include the cost of special food in medical expenses only if:

The food does not satisfy normal nutritional needs,

The food alleviates or treats an illness, and

The need for the food is substantiated by a physician.

The amount you can include in medical expenses is limited to the amount by which the cost of the special food exceeds the cost of a normal diet. See also Weight-Loss Program under What Expenses Are Not Includible, later.

Nutritional Supplements- You cannot include in medical expenses the cost of nutritional supplements, vitamins, herbal supplements, “natural medicines,” etc. unless they are recommended by a medical practitioner as treatment for a specific medical condition diagnosed by a physician. Otherwise, these items are taken to maintain your ordinary good health, and are not for medical care.

Free help with your tax return.

You can get free help preparing your return nationwide from IRS-certified volunteers. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps low-to-moderate income, elderly, people with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing and all volunteers will let you know about credits and deductions you may be entitled to claim. In addition, some VITA and TCE sites provide taxpayers the opportunity to prepare their own return with help from an IRS-certified volunteer. To find the nearest VITA or TCE site, you can use the VITA Locator Tool on IRS.gov, download the IRS2Go app, or call 1-800-906-9887.

As part of the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program. To find the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, visit AARP's website at www.aarp.org/money/taxaide or call 1-888-227-7669. For more information on these programs, go to IRS.gov and enter “VITA” in the search box. Internet. IRS.gov and IRS2Go are ready when you are —24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

IRS Information here: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p502/ar02.html#en_US_2013_publink1000178925

Last Updated- April 2019

Lucy Barnes