Itemized deductions for medical and dental health expenses paid during the tax year

There are many types of medical and dental health insurance plans that patients might seek.  This information will be discussed in multiple sections.

Tax Deductions For Medical and Dental Health Expenses

An individual is entitled to an itemized deduction for medical and dental health expenses paid during the tax year, to the extent the expenses exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income.  If your medical and dental health expenses do exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income, only the portion of the expenses that exceed the threshold will be deductible.

Proper planning and timing can help to increase your potential deduction: For example, if you know you must undergo a series of medical and/or dental procedures, by planning them, and paying for them, in a single tax year, you may incur enough expenses in that tax year to generate a tax deduction. On the other hand, by splitting the procedures between two years, you may be under the 7.5% threshold in both years, thereby forsaking valuable deductions.

Other planning opportunities may exist if your income fluctuates from year to year, or if you have some control your income. For example, can you delay a bonus from December 31 to January 1, keeping income lower in a year when you might have greater medical and dental expenses.  The combination of lower income and higher medical expenses in a given year maximizes the tax deductibility of the expenses, saving you the greater amount of taxes.

Medical and dental health expenses include amounts paid for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. Other allowable expenses include such items as transportation to and from medical/dental appointments and the cost of eyeglasses. Medical and dental expenses paid on behalf of a spouse or dependent may also be included. Insurance premiums may also be included.

By Jay D. Edelman, CPA

–Dr. Jeffrey Dorfman, Director
The Center for Special Dentistry

The Center For Special Dentistry is NOT a member of any dental insurance plan network.