Deductible Medical Expenses - From A to Z

It’s even more difficult than before for most taxpayers to qualify for medical expense deductions now that the “floor” has been raised to 10 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI) from 7.5 percent of AGI. Are you still searching for expenses to break through the  floor on a 2013 return? Consider that more expenses are deductible than people usually think.

Here’s a partial list of deductible expenses that run the gamut from A to Z. These expenses – which have been approved by the IRS, authorized by regulations or allowed by the courts – are generally corroborated in IRS Publication 502 (Medical and Dental Expenses).     

Ambulance services needed in medical emergencies.

Breast pumps and supplies that assist in lactation.

Contact lenses needed for medical reasons. This includes costs of equipment and materials for using contact lenses such as saline solution and enzyme cleaner. 

Diagnostic devices used to detect illness and disease. For example, you may deduct a kit that monitors your blood sugar level if you have diabetes.

Eye examinations conducted by a licensed practitioner.

Fertility enhancement treatments to overcome an inability to have children. This includes in vitro fertilization and surgery reversing a vasectomy.

Guide dog or other service animal expenses to assist a visually impaired or hearing disabled person or a person with other physical disabilities.

Hearing aid expenses. Not only can you deduct the cost of the hearing aid, but also includes batteries, repairs and maintenance expenses needed for operation.

Insurance premiums paid for policies that cover medical care. Note that deductions for long-term care insurance are limited.

Job-related taxes, such as Social Security tax, FUTA, Medicare tax, and state employment taxes – paid for an attendant who provides medical care. 

Kit for determining pregnancy.

Legal fees paid to authorize treatment for mental illness.

Medical conference expenses, such as admission and transportation to the conference (but not meals), if it concerns the chronic illness of yourself, your spouse or a dependent.

Nursing services required for medical reasons. The service doesn’t have to be performed by a nurse as long as it is the type of service generally performed by a nurse.

Organ donor expenses for medical care received because you’re a donor or a possible donor of a kidney or other organ. This includes transportation.

Prosthetics covering costs of artificial limbs and related medical expenses.

Qualified long-term care services that are medically necessary for a chronically ill individual. The service must be provided pursuant to a plan of care prescribed by a licensed practitioner.

Reconstruction expenses relating to breast surgery, as well as breast prosthesis, following a mastectomy for cancer.

Smoking cessation programs, but not amounts paid for drugs that do not require a prescription, such as nicotine gum or patches, designed to help stop smoking.

Television equipment displaying the audio part of television programs as subtitles for persons with a hearing disability.

Ulcer medication prescribed by a physician.

Vasectomy expenses as well as the cost of reversing a vasectomy.

Wigs purchased upon the advice of a physician for the mental health of a patient who has lost all of his or her hair from disease.

X-ray needed for medical reasons.

Zinc oxide ointments and similar applications prescribed by a physician to treat disease.

Naturally, this list is not all-inclusive. The point is to keep digging in records to unearth  expenses that could salvage or increase a medical deduction.