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What Medical Expenses Can Be Written Off on Taxes?

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What Medical Expenses Can Be Written Off on Taxes?

By Marlo Sollitto,

Many caregivers and their elderly parents rack up thousands of dollars every year in medical expenses. Items not covered by Medicare, co-pays and deductibles, even the amount of gas used to get to doctor’s appointments.

Depending on the total amount you’ve spent, you might be able to deduct those medical expenses from your taxes. However, you have to have an awful lot of medical expenses in order to take the deduction.

There are a number of hurdles that must be overcome for a caregiver to deduct medical expenses for the person to whom the care is provided,” says Mark Luscombe, CPA, JD, LLM, and Federal Tax Analyst at CCH ( and noted expert on the U.S. tax code. “The person receiving the care must meet certain support, income, relationship, citizenship and other tests.

2011 Tax Tips for Family Caregivers

“The medical expenses must be of the type approved by the IRS as qualifying for the medical expense deduction,” Luscombe says.

To qualify for the deduction, the total cost of your unreimbursed medical expenses must exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. For example, if your adjusted gross income is $50,000, then the first $3,750 of medical expenses don’t count.

“If all the requirements can be met, the caregiver can get significant tax benefits from writing off medical expenses incurred on behalf of the person receiving care.”

So take the time to add up the amount medical expenses you (or your elderly parent) cost out-of-pocket during 2011. If its enough, you can deduct those expenses on the tax return.

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What Medical Expenses Can Be Written Off on Taxes? originally appeared on

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8:18AM PDT on Mar 19, 2013

Thanks for the info.

5:33AM PDT on Oct 23, 2012

Thank you

8:27AM PDT on Jul 1, 2012

i've always deducted my medical expenses, didn't realize it had to be a certain percentage. i guess it was since i had a cpa doing my taxes and i trust he knows the laws.

2:31AM PDT on Apr 18, 2012

I wonder if they changed the law?!? I was having Insurance premiums taken out of my check and what I read said that we 'could NOT take them as a deduction.' Hmmmmmmm.

11:54AM PST on Mar 6, 2012

Good to know

7:42AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

Every year I tally all of my medical expenses and if they qualify fine, if not, at least I did my part to make the determination. In this day and age every penny saved counts.

5:05AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

Let us take an example of Texas. The "Penny Health" is quite popular in Arizona. It provides so many offers for the low income people.

5:04AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

Good info, thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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