Can I claim medical expenses as a deduction?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,293
    Goodman & Company Tax Director Art Auerbach explains which medical expenses are eligible to claim as deductions on your tax return.

    Host: Can I claim medical expenses as a deduction?

    Aurthur Auerbach: Yes, you can but remember, the medical expenses you claim here are the ones that are not reimbursed. So you take your total medical expenses, you subtract that reimbursements you got from the insurance companies or Medicare or things that were paid by Medicaid. You subtract out the amount that you got back from your cafeteria plan or flexible spending arrangement at your employer and the net result is what you had available left to be medical expenses. Now, they could be doctor visits, the things that most people forget are parking or tolls to get to or from doctors or hospitals. There is a deduction for medical mileage, so if you use your car obviously, not all your doctors and dentists are in the basement of your house, so you are going to go to get there. All that mileage can add up and based on the mileage allowance that the IRS gives you that can add up to an additional medical deduction. Eye glasses, prescription medications that are not reimbursed or paid for, all your co-pays, people tend to forget that if you are covered by an insurance carrier maybe you have got a $15 or $20 or $25 dollar co-pay at the Physician's office or a service provider; add up all of those co-pays because that's a medical deduction. You were out-of-pocket. Look at your paystub that we referred to earlier. If you are participating with the employer in the cost of your medical coverage, so the employer pays for the employee only but you pay for dependent care, that's a medical deduction.

    There is a limited deduction for long-term care insurance, as well. Now all of that gets added up and it's subject to a limitation of 7.

    5% of your adjusted gross income. So to get a medical deduction, all of those expenses have to exceed 7.

    5% of the bottom-line on page one of your 1040.