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Questions and Answers: Changes to the Itemized Deduction for 2016 Medical Expenses

1. What amount of my medical expenses can I deduct beginning Jan. 1, 2016?

If you and your spouse are both under age 65, 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 37.

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.

2. If I turn 65 in 2017, what threshold percentage should I use?

You will file your 2016 tax return – which you will file in 2017 - using the 10 percent threshold of your adjusted gross income. Beginning with your 2017 tax return (filing in 2018), and thereafter, you will also use the 10 percent threshold of your adjusted gross income.

3. 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.

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

To figure your medical and dental expense deduction on your 2016 tax return that you will file in 2017, 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.

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

To figure your medical and dental expense deduction on your 2016 tax return that you will file in 2017, 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.

6. 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.