Deducting Medical and Dental Expenses

April 20, 2023

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If you, your spouse, or dependents had significant medical or dental costs in 2022, you may be able to deduct those expenses when you file your tax return this year. Here’s what you should know about medical and dental expenses and other benefits:

You Must Itemize

You can only claim medical expenses you paid for in 2022, and only if you itemize Schedule A on Form 1040. If you take the standard deduction, you can’t claim these expenses.

Deduction is Limited

You can deduct all the qualified medical costs that you paid for during the year. However, for 2022, you can only deduct the amount that is more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.

Expenses Paid in 2022

You can include medical and dental expenses you paid during the year, regardless of when the services were provided. For example, if you use a credit card, include medical expenses you charge to your credit card in the year the charge is made, not when you actually pay the amount charged. Save your receipts and keep good records to substantiate your expenses.

No deduction for Reimbursed Expenses

Your total medical expenses for the year must be reduced by any reimbursement. Costs reimbursed by insurance or other sources do not qualify for a deduction. Normally, it makes no difference if you receive the reimbursement or if it is paid directly to the doctor or hospital.

Qualified Medical Expenses

Include qualified medical expenses you pay for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents. Some exceptions and special rules apply to divorced or separated parents, taxpayers with a multiple support agreement, or those with a qualifying relative who is not your child.

You can deduct expenses primarily paid for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease or treatment affecting any structure or function of the body. You can only deduct prescription medication and insulin (i.e., no over-the-counter medicines). You can also include premiums for medical, dental, and certain long-term care insurance in your expenses, and you can also include lactation supplies.

Transportation Costs

You may deduct transportation costs primarily for and essential to medical care that qualifies as a medical expense, including fares for a taxi, bus, train, plane, or ambulance as well as tolls and parking fees. If you use your car for medical transportation, you can deduct actual out-of-pocket expenses such as gas and oil. Or, you can deduct the standard mileage rate for medical expenses, which was 22 cents per mile (July 1-December 31, 2022) and 18 cents per mile (January 1-June 30, 2022).

No Double Benefit

You can’t claim a tax deduction for medical and dental expenses you paid for with funds from your Health Savings Accounts (HAS) or Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSA). Amounts paid with funds from those plans are usually tax-free. This rule prevents two tax benefits for the same expense.

Please call if you need help determining what qualifies as a medical or dental expense.

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