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What Are Medical Expenses? Medical expenses are the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body. They include the costs of equipment, supplies, and diagnostic devices needed for these purposes.
They also include dental expenses. Medical care expenses must be primarily to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental defect or illness. They do not include expenses that are merely beneficial to general health, such as vitamins or a vacation.
Medical expenses include the premiums you pay for insurance that covers the expenses of medical care, and the amounts you pay for transportation to get medical care.
Medical expenses also include amounts paid for qualified long-term care services and limited amounts paid for any qualified long-term care insurance contract. You can include only the medical and dental expenses you paid this year, regardless of when the services were provided.
If you pay medical expenses by check, the day you mail or deliver the check generally is the date of payment. 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. If you did not claim a medical or dental expense that would have been deductible in an earlier year, you can file Form 1040X, Amended U. Individual Income Tax Return, for the year in which you overlooked the expense.
Generally, an amended return must be filed within 3 years from the date the original return was filed or within 2 years from the time the tax was paid, whichever is later. You cannot include medical expenses that were paid by insurance companies or other sources. This is true whether the payments were made directly to you, to the patient, or to the provider of the medical services.
If you and your spouse live in a noncommunity property state and file separate returns, each of you can include only the medical expenses each actually paid. Any medical expenses paid out of a joint checking account in which you and your spouse have the same interest are considered to have been paid equally by each of you, unless you can show otherwise. If you and your spouse live in a community property state and file separate returns, any medical expenses paid out of community funds are divided equally.
Each of you should include half the expenses. If medical expenses are paid out of the separate funds of one spouse, only the spouse who paid the medical expenses can include them. If you live in a community property state, are married, and file a separate return, see Publication 555, Community Property. You can deduct only the amount of your medical and dental expenses that is more than 7. This phrase means that you must subtract 7. You cannot deduct any of your medical expenses because they are not more than 7.
You can generally include medical expenses you pay for yourself, as well as those you pay for someone who was your spouse or your dependent either when the services were provided or when you paid for them. There are different rules for decedents and for individuals who are the subject of multiple support agreements. See Support claimed under a multiple support agreement, later under Qualifying Relative.
Yourself You can include medical expenses that you paid for yourself. Spouse You can include medical expenses you paid for your spouse. To include these expenses, you must have been married either at the time your spouse received the medical services or at the time you paid the medical expenses.
Mary received medical treatment before she married Bill. Bill paid for the treatment after they married. Bill can include these expenses in figuring his medical expense deduction even if Bill and Mary file separate returns. Mary would include the amounts she paid during the year in her separate return. If they filed a joint return, the medical expenses both paid during the year would be used to figure their medical expense deduction.
This year, John paid medical expenses for his wife Louise, who died last year. John married Belle this year and they file a joint return.
Because John was married to Louise when she received the medical services, he can include those expenses in figuring his medical deduction for this year. Dependent You can include medical expenses you paid for your dependent. For you to include these expenses, the person must have been your dependent either at the time the medical services were provided or at the time you paid the expenses.
A person generally qualifies as your dependent for purposes of the medical expense deduction if both of the following requirements are met.
The person was a qualifying child defined later or a qualifying relative defined later , and The person was a U. If your qualifying child was adopted, see Exception for adopted child, next. Exception for adopted child. If you are a U.
Qualifying Child A qualifying child is a child who: Is your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them for example, your grandchild, niece, or nephew , At the end of 2008 was: Under age 19, Under age 24 and a full-time student, or Permanently and totally disabled, Lived with you for more than half of 2008, and Did not provide over half of his or her own support for 2008.
A legally adopted child is treated as your own child. This child includes a child lawfully placed with you for legal adoption. You can include medical expenses that you paid for a child before adoption if the child qualified as your dependent when the medical services were provided or when the expenses were paid.
If you pay back an adoption agency or other persons for medical expenses they paid under an agreement with you, you are treated as having paid those expenses provided you clearly substantiate that the payment is directly attributable to the medical care of the child.
But if you pay the agency or other person for medical care that was provided and paid for before adoption negotiations began, you cannot include them as medical expenses. You may be able to take a credit for other expenses related to an adoption. Child of divorced or separated parents. For purposes of the medical and dental expenses deduction, a child of divorced or separated parents can be treated as a dependent of both parents.
Are divorced or legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, Are separated under a written separation agreement, or Live apart at all times during the last 6 months of the year. Qualifying Relative A qualifying relative is a person: Son, daughter, stepchild, or foster child, or a descendant of any of them for example, your grandchild , Brother or sister, or a son or daughter of either of them, Father or mother, or an ancestor or sibling of either of them for example, your grandmother, grandfather, aunt, or uncle , Stepbrother, stepsister, stepfather, stepmother, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law, or Any other person other than your spouse who lived with you all year as a member of your household if your relationship did not violate local law, Who was not a qualifying child see Qualifying child above of any taxpayer for 2008, and For whom you provided over half of the support in 2008.
But see Child of divorced or separated parents , earlier, Support claimed under a multiple support agreement, next, and Kidnapped child under Qualifying Relative in Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information. Support claimed under a multiple support agreement.
Any medical expenses paid by others who joined you in the agreement cannot be included as medical expenses by anyone. However, you can include the entire unreimbursed amount you paid for medical expenses. Under a multiple support agreement, you treat your mother as your dependent. You paid all of her medical expenses. Your brothers repaid you for three-fourths of these expenses. Your brothers cannot include any part of the expenses.
The expenses must be paid within the 1-year period beginning with the day after the date of death. Qualified medical expenses paid before death by the decedent are not deductible if paid with a tax-free distribution from any Archer MSA or health savings account.
Form 1040X can be filed for the year or years the expenses are treated as paid, unless the period for filing an amended return for that year has passed.
Generally, an amended return must be filed within 3 years of the date the original return was filed, or within 2 years from the time the tax was paid, whichever date is later. John properly filed his 2007 income tax return. What if you pay medical expenses of a deceased spouse or dependent? The expenses can be included if the person was your spouse or dependent either at the time the medical services were provided or at the time you paid the expenses.
What Medical Expenses Are Includible? Following is a list of items that you can include in figuring your medical expense deduction. The items are listed in alphabetical order. This list does not include all possible medical expenses. To determine if an expense not listed can be included in figuring your medical expense deduction, see What Are Medical Expenses , earlier. Abortion You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay for a legal abortion.
Acupuncture You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay for acupuncture. This includes meals and lodging provided by the center during treatment. You can also include in medical expenses amounts you pay for transportation to and from Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in your community if the attendance is pursuant to medical advice that membership in Alcoholics Anonymous is necessary for the treatment of a disease involving the excessive use of alcoholic liquors.
Ambulance You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for ambulance service.