Publication 502 - Introductory Material


What's New

Medical and dental expenses. Beginning January 1, 2013, you can deduct only the part of your medical and dental expenses that exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) (7.5% if either you or your spouse was born before January 2, 1949).

Standard mileage rate. The standard mileage rate allowed for operating expenses for a car when you use it for medical reasons is 24 cents per mile. See Transportation under What Medical Expenses Are Includible.

Federal tax benefits for same-sex married couples. For federal tax purposes, individuals of the same sex are considered married if they were lawfully married in a state (or foreign country) whose laws authorize the marriage of two individuals of the same sex, even if the state (or foreign country) in which they now live does not recognize same-sex marriage. For more information, see Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.

Reminders

Future developments.  For the latest information about developments related to Publication 502, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to www.irs.gov/pub502.

Photographs of missing children. The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.

Introduction

This publication explains the itemized deduction for medical and dental expenses that you claim on Schedule A (Form 1040). It discusses what expenses, and whose expenses, you can and cannot include in figuring the deduction. It explains how to treat reimbursements and how to figure the deduction. It also tells you how to report the deduction on your tax return and what to do if you sell medical property or receive damages for a personal injury.

Medical expenses include dental expenses, and in this publication the term “medical expenses” is often used to refer to medical and dental expenses.

You can deduct on Schedule A (Form 1040) only the part of your medical and dental expenses that is more than 10% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). But if either you or your spouse was born before January 2, 1949, you can deduct the amount of your medical and dental expenses that is more than 7.5% of your AGI. If your medical and dental expenses are not more than 10% of your AGI (7.5% if either you or your spouse was born before January 2, 1949), you cannot claim a deduction.

This publication also explains how to treat impairment-related work expenses, health insurance premiums if you are self-employed, and the health coverage tax credit that is available to certain individuals.

Pub. 502 covers many common medical expenses but not every possible medical expense. If you cannot find the expense you are looking for, refer to the definition of medical expenses under What Are Medical Expenses .

See How To Get Tax Help near the end of this publication for information about getting publications and forms.

Comments and suggestions.   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.

  You can write to us at the following address:

Internal Revenue Service 
Tax Forms and Publications Division 
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526 
Washington, DC 20224

  We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.

  You can send your comments from www.irs.gov/formspubs. Click on “More Information” and then on “Comment on Tax Forms and Publications.

  Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.

Ordering forms and publications.   Visit www.irs.gov/formspubs to download forms and publications, call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received.

Internal Revenue Service 
1201 N. Mitsubishi Motorway 
Bloomington, IL 61705-6613

Tax questions.   If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS.gov or call 1-800-829-1040. We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses.

Useful Items - You may want to see:

Publication

  • 969 Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans

Forms (and Instructions)

  • 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

  • Schedule A (Form 1040) Itemized Deductions

  • 8885 Health Coverage Tax Credit


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