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Medical and Dental Expenses -- Podcast

Hi… I'm Christina… and I work for the Internal  Revenue Service.

If you have a lot of medical or dental bills… you may be able to deduct some of them on your tax return.

Keep in mind you will need to itemize your deductions in order to do so.

In other words… if you fill out one of the short forms… either a 1040-a or 1040-e-z… you won’t be able to claim any of your medical expenses.

There are a couple of steps to figuring out whether you can claim any of your medical expenses.

Here are the steps.

First you need to add up all your medical and dental expenses.

You can include expenses you paid for yourself... your spouse.... or a dependent… such as your child.

Be sure to count any medical expense you paid during the year.

Uusually what counts is the date you paid an expense … not the date when the medical service was received. 

Expenses that qualify include co-payments and unreimbursed amounts for prescriptions… doctor visits and procedures. 

You can also include some insurance premiums ... medical supplies ... medical-related mileage ... and transportation costs.

And now you can also include breast pumps and breastfeeding supplies.

Step two is… you need to see if your total expenses are more than seven and a-half percent of your adjusted gross income.

If they are… you can deduct the portion of your expenses that exceeds seven and a-half percent.

So… for example… if your income is 50,000 dollars… you can only claim the portion of your medical expenses that is more than 3,750 dollars.   

And…be sure to keep all your receipts.

Find out more about what expenses qualify in our Publication 502… which is called  Medical and Dental Expenses.

Download it at i-r-s-dot-gov.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 2012-08-04