[QUESTION]What are the rules for deducting medical expenses on my tax return?
[ANSWER]Many medical expenses that you pay out of pocket for yourself, your spouse and your dependents may be tax-deductible, but you can only deduct those expenses to the extent they exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income in 2017 (for 2016, the cut-off was 7.5% for people age 65 and older and 10% for everyone else). You also need to itemize deductions to take advantage of this write-off.
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You can count your health insurance deductibles, co-payments, prescription drug costs (and insulin without a prescription), and other expenses that aren't covered by your insurance, such as vision and dental care. The cost of contact lenses, glasses, chiropractors, acupuncture, travel to receive medical care, a smoking-cessation program and many other expenses count. You can also deduct a portion of eligible long-term-care insurance premiums based on your age (up to $390 per person in 2016 if you're age 40 or younger; $730 if you're 41 to 50; $1,460 if 51 to 60; $3,900 if 61 to 70; and $4,870 if 71 or older). See IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses, for a list of eligible expenses.
You can't deduct any medical expenses that you paid with tax-free money from a flexible-spending account or health savings account.
SEE ALSO: The 23 Most-Overlooked Tax Deductions
- The 23 Most-Overlooked Tax Deductions
- 7 Smart Ways to Lower Your Taxable Income
- Last-Minute Tax Tips to Lower Your 2016 Tax Bill
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