IRS Logo
Print - Click this link to Print this page

(ASL) - YouTube video text script - Medical and Dental Expenses

Hi, I’m Patti, and I work for the IRS.

If you have medical or dental expenses, 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 this.  

In other words, if you fill out one of the short forms, either a 1040A or 1040EZ, you won’t be able to claim any of these expenses.

There are two things you need to do to figure out whether you can claim any of your medical and dental expenses.  

First, add up all of your medical and dental expenses.  

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

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

Usually 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.      .

Second, you need to see if your total expenses are more than a certain threshold amount.  For most people, that amount is 10 percent of your Adjusted Gross Income.

If they are, you may deduct the portion of your expenses that exceeds 10 percent.

Now, are you 65 or older?  If so, there’s a special, lower threshold amount that applies to senior citizens.   

You may deduct total medical expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of your Adjusted Gross Income through the year 2016.

If you are married and only one of you is 65 or older, you may still deduct total medical expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of your income through 2016.   

Whether you are 65 or not, 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

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 19-Feb-2016