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Questions and Answers: Changes to the Itemized Deduction for 2013 Medical Expenses

1. When do changes to the itemized deduction for medical expenses take effect?

The rules are changing if you plan to itemize medical deductions on your 2013 federal tax return that you will file in 2014. The change will not affect income tax returns for the 2012 taxable year that will be filed in 2013.

2. What amount of my medical expenses can I deduct beginning Jan. 1, 2013?

If you and your spouse are both under age 65, on your 2013 tax return that you will file in 2014, you can deduct on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions (Form 1040) only the amount of your unreimbursed allowable medical and dental expenses that is more than 10 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI) from  Form 1040, line 38.

If you or your spouse is 65 or over, you are temporarily exempt from the increase. The exemption applies to any tax year beginning after December 31, 2012, and ending before January 1, 2017, if you or your spouse attained age 65 during or before the tax year.

3. If I turn 65 in 2014, what threshold percentage should I use?

You will file your 2013 tax return – which you will file in 2014 - using the 10 percent threshold of your adjusted gross income. When you turn 65 in 2014, you will file your 2014 tax return in 2015 and will use the 7.5 percent threshold of your adjusted gross income. Beginning with your 2017 tax return (filing in 2018), and thereafter, you will use the 10 percent threshold of your adjusted gross income.

4. Whose medical expenses can I include?

You can generally include medical expenses you pay for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents. IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses, contains additional information on medical expenses including how you figure and report the deduction on your return.

5. How do I figure the deduction if I am under 65?

To figure your medical and dental expense deduction on your 2013 tax return that you will file in 2014, follow the instructions to complete lines 1 through 4 of Schedule A, Form 1040.

IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses, contains additional information on medical expenses including how you figure and report the deduction on your return.

6. How do I figure the deduction if I am over 65?

To figure your medical and dental expense deduction on your 2013 tax return that you will file in 2014, follow the instructions to complete lines 1 through 4 of Schedule A, Form 1040.

IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses, and Pub 554, Tax Guide for Seniors, contain additional information on medical expenses including how you figure and report the deduction on your return.

7. What records should I keep for each medical expense?

For each medical expense, you should keep a record of:

  • The name and address of each medical care provider you paid, and
  • The amount and date of each payment.

You should also keep a statement or itemized invoice showing the following:

  • A description of the medical care received
  • Who received the care
  • The nature and purpose of the medical expenses.

Do not send these records with your return. IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses, contains additional information on medical expenses including how you figure and report the deduction on your return.

For additional information, see changes to the itemized deduction for 2013 medical expenses.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 02-Jan-2014