This article was last updated on May 19
In 2019, the IRS allows all taxpayers to deduct the total qualified unreimbursed medical care expenses for the year that exceeds 7.5% of their adjusted gross income. Beginning in 2020 and into 2021, the threshold amount increases to 10% of AGI. [Source: TurboTax]
[Prior year updates] You are only allowed to deduct your medical/dental expenses if the total paid is at least 10% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and you must itemize your deductions. However, if you or your spouse are 65 or older, your threshold is reduced to 7.5% to meet the deduction requirement. This deduction is the hardest for the majority of Americans to meet. You are allowed to deduct the following expenses:
|List of Medical Deductions|
|Abortion – done legally||Laboratory Fees||Fertility Enhancement||Therapy||Braille Books and Magazines||Nursing Home|
|Acupuncture||Lead Based Paint Removal||Guide Dog/Service Animal||Transplants||Breast Pump and Pumping Supplies||Nursing Services|
|Alcoholism – inpatient treatment & qualified mileage||Legal Fees to get authorized treatment for mental health||Health Institute||Public Transportation to get to medical appointments||Special Equipment installed in home for disabled||Operation/Surgery|
|Ambulance||Lifetime Care – Advanced Payments||HMO||Trips to another city for treatment||Special Equipment installed in car for disabled||Optometrist|
|Annual Physical Exam||Lodging||Hearing Aid||Vasectomy||Chiropractor||Osteopath|
|Artificial Limb||Long Term Care||Hospital Services||Weight Loss Program Fees – if medically diagnosed by doctor||Christian Science Practitioner||Oxygen|
|Artificial Teeth||Meals||Health Coverage Tax Credit||Wheelchair||Contact Lenses||Physical Exam|
|Bandages||Medical Conferences||Employer Sponsored Health Insurance, only if it is included on your W2||Wig||Crutches||Pregnancy Test Kit|
|Birth Control Pills||Medical Information Plan||Medicare A,B, and D Premiums||Xrays||Dental Treatment||Psychiatric Care|
|Body Scan||Medicines||Prepaid Insurance Premiums||Special Home to care for Disabled Person||Diagnostic Devices||Psychoanalysis|
|Eye Exam||Sterilization||Eye Surgery||Sub Captioning device on TV for the deaf||Disabled Dependent Care Expenses||Psychologist|
|Eyeglasses||Stop Smoking Programs||Drug Addiction – inpatient treatment||Special Education|
For example, if you have a modified adjusted gross income of $45,000 and $5,475 of medical expenses, you would multiply $45,000 by 0.10 (10 percent) to find that only expenses exceeding $4,500 can be deducted. This leaves you with a medical expense deduction of $975 (5,475 – 4,500).
You may also deduct mileage in your own car that is used for medical purposes. The medical standard mileage rate for 2016 is 19 cents per mile. You cannot claim expenses that were paid by a Health Savings Account (HSA).
The limit at which you can claim these expenses was increased from 7.5 percent to 10 percent of 2013 adjusted gross income (AGI). Prior to 2013, you could claim an itemized deduction for medical expenses paid for you, your spouse and your dependents, to the extent those expenses exceeded 7.5 percent of your AGI. But thanks to the health care laws – known as Obamacare – an even higher threshold of 10 percent of AGI now applies to most taxpayers. There is a temporary three year exemption to the higher limit if either you or your spouse will be 65 or older as of December 31, 2013. The higher 10 percent AGI threshold will not affect these groups until Dec. 31, 2016. But beginning Jan. 1, 2017, all taxpayers will only be able to deduct the amount of the total non-reimbursed allowable medical care expenses that exceeds 10% of their annual AGI.