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Find some Recovery in Medical Expense Deductions

Will your medical and dental expenses affect your taxes? Though your medical costs may sometimes prove overwhelming, the IRS offers several individual income tax breaks to lessen that financial burden. Let’s discuss some tips to help you discern whether these expenses qualify as deductions come tax time.

  • Always Keep Records: Maintaining accurate records will make your life easier when filing your return, so be sure to have easy access to necessary documentation for potentially permissible deductions.
  • 10% Floor: No medical deductions will count until they exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income. So, unless you had surgery or a major illness you probably won’t be able to claim a deduction.
  • Itemize your Deductions: You may only claim healthcare expenses by itemizing deductions on your tax return. Since itemized expenses can prove a bit tricky, consult with gov or a tax professional before submitting your tax return.
  • Qualifying Expenses: Most medical and dental expenses qualify as deductions, but don’t forget to include expenses incurred by dependents including: the costs of diagnosing, treating or preventing disease; prescription drug expenses; and insurance premiums, including long-term healthcare costs.
  • Travel Costs: Most traveling expenses to dentist or doctor’s appointments are deductible. Be sure to include costs associated with airline tickets, public transportation, ambulance fees, tolls and parking fees. You may either deduct your total traveling costs or the standard mileage rate of 19 cents per mile for 2016.
  • No Double Benefit: If you opt to pay for healthcare costs with your Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Arrangement, then you may not deduct these expenses, since funds from these plans are usually tax-free.

If you have questions regarding specific medical expenses and deductions, offers help through the Interactive Tax Assistant Tool.

Of course, exceptions to these rules certainly exist. For additional information regarding specific medical and dental deductions, refer to Publication 502.

Ensuring you take advantage of the medical expense deductions through judicious healthcare accounting is an important aspect of long-term tax and financial planning. The proven accountants at Patrick & Robinson CPAs can help. Contact us at 904-396-5400 or

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