Find out which medical and dental expenses are deductible and how to claim them on your taxes—plus, some tax traps to avoid.
Who Can Claim the Medical and Dental Tax Deduction?
To claim a tax deduction for medical expenses you have to meet the following 2 conditions:
- You must file taxes on Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A.
- You must have qualified medical expenses that were not reimbursed (no matter if you receive a reimbursement or it’s paid directly to a doctor or hospital).
What Medical and Dental Expenses are Tax Deductible?
Some common tax-deductible medical expenses include:
- Fees paid to doctors, dentists, psychologists, and psychiatrists
- Hospital or nursing home care (including the cost of meals and lodging)
- Prescription drugs and insulin
- Eye exams, eyeglasses, and contact lenses (including cleaning equipment and solution)
- Hearing aids
- Crutches and wheelchairs
- Transportation costs essential to receive medical care, including ambulance service
Besides these ordinary expenses, don’t miss the non-traditional medical expenses including:
- Fees paid to chiropractors
- Fees paid to a Christian Scientist practitioner
- Treatment for alcohol or drug addiction, including meals and lodging—plus, transportation to and from Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in your community
- Fertility treatment such as in vitro fertilization and pregnancy test kits
- Lactation supplies like breast pumps
- Sterilization procedures like vasectomy
- Home improvements including modifications to bathrooms, doors, kitchen cabinets, entrances, and stairs to accommodate a disability
- Cost of removing lead-based paint from your home
- Owning a guide dog or other service animal
- Participation in a program to stop smoking
- A weight-loss program, when recommended by a doctor to treat a medical condition
- Special education for a child with learning disabilities, recommended by a doctor
This is not a complete list of qualified medical and dental expenses, so be sure to refer to Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses for more information.