U.S. Markets closed

How to Deduct Medical Expenses on Your Tax Return

Kimberly Lankford, Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
You may be able to write off what you pay out of pocket for health care, but only to the extent that those expenses exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income.

[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.

TAKE OUR QUIZ: Is It Tax-Deductible?

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.

Report the eligible medical expenses on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. For more information, see the Instructions for Schedule A. Also see IRS Tax Topic Medical and Dental Expenses.

SEE ALSO: The 23 Most-Overlooked Tax Deductions

EDITOR'S PICKS

Copyright 2017 The Kiplinger Washington Editors