Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Deal GURU
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    N. Ohio
    Posts
    3,117
    Blog Entries
    44
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Medical Expenses: a Commonly Missed Deduction

    I have a friend that works in this field--and she sent this bit of information to me yesterday.

    Unfortunately , we all incur medical expenses from time to time and you really need to make certain that you understand this deduction. It’s important that you have a general idea as to how it works and make a mental note of the money saving strategy in case you incur these expenses.

    This is one of the more commonly missed deductions. It is usually missed because of the fact that most people are never ready for it!

    First of all, this is not the kind of deduction you want at all. Please accept my condolences if you have this deduction, because it is obviously due to an illness or injury of either yourself or a dependant.

    The deduction is missed or not taken properly because it is not an expense that we incur consistently. Mortgage interest, property tax, .etc… are all “year in and year out” deductions for most people. But when you have the medical deduction because of perhaps something not covered (such as major medical services not covered by our health insurance or a high deductible), people are not used to taking the deduction at all.

    Everyone incurs these deductible expenses all the time in the form of co-pays and prescriptions, but there is usually never enough to exceed the 7.5% floor. In other words if your AGI is $100k, you would need $7,500 in deductible medical expenses in order to start getting some “real” tax savings. $50k in AGI and you would need to have $3,750. ($50k X .075 = $3,750)

    More often than not, your income is less when you have this deduction and therefore reduces the floor. For example, if your income is usually $100k you will then need $7,500 in medical expenses. But the injury or illness may cause you to miss some work and reduce your income, thus reaching the floor more quickly. If the income is $50k, then the floor is $3,750 and you then need all the deductions you can get.

    Usually the basic “year to year” medical expenses do not add up to the floor and this why people miss the deduction when they really need it most!

    Remember that expenses covered by insurance are not deductible, but the co-pays and deductibles are.

    Examples of just a couple of the deductions are:

    Dental Treatment Insurance Premiums
    Disabled Dependent Care Expenses Medicare A,B and D Eyeglasses/Eye Surgery Special Education


    This is a direct link to the IRS web page where you can view all the things that are deductible under this medical deduction. There are about SEVENTY FIVE of them. Publication 502 (2008), Medical and Dental Expenses

    Now, let’s get into the tax planning. I believe the best way to understand taxes better is from a tax planning perspective. (Just like investing, staying on top of the situation and being proactive as apposed re-active.) The tax code is a MILLION pages of double talk, but the planning can be a lot more general and easier to remember.

    If you know that you are going to have one of these major deductions or you have a dependent that will affect your return with these expenses that will put you closer or over the floor, then try to consolidate as many medical expenses in that year as possible.

    We have all heard of athletes that have postponed surgery for a knee, arm, or shoulder until the season is over. Another example: Dental surgery can be postponed and this sometimes requires a lot of out of pocket expenses.

    Let say you have an income of $50k a year and your child needs some major dental work and it will cost $4k. You may want to consider taking care of all of the other major medical expenses that you can in that year because you are already over the floor and everything will be deductible like any other itemized deduction. Eye glasses, tests etc...Refer to the list that I have included above.

    Please do not interpret this as any type medical advice. This will not always work out because sometimes we need care immediately.

    But there are definitely instances where you can load up these expenses to reduce your tax bill significantly and so it is good to be aware of this strategy.

    As a last note, be aware that medical expenses are an “add back” for the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) and that there is no substitute for a tax projection.
    JoAnn
    "Joy is not in things. It is within us"

  2. The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to JoAnn For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Mod Squad
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Cyberville
    Posts
    4,664
    Blog Entries
    136
    Downloads
    4
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Medical Expenses: a Commonly Missed Deduction

    With my baby having had three surgeries in 2007 we will be able to claim some this year. Don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

  4. #3
    Deal GURU
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    N. Ohio
    Posts
    3,117
    Blog Entries
    44
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Medical Expenses: a Commonly Missed Deduction

    I thought of you when I posted this one. I'm looking into all the avenues with myself.
    JoAnn
    "Joy is not in things. It is within us"

  5. #4
    Mod Squad
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Cyberville
    Posts
    4,664
    Blog Entries
    136
    Downloads
    4
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: Medical Expenses: a Commonly Missed Deduction

    Actually I never would have thought of claiming any of this if an accountant friend had not told me to get the last surgery in before the end of the year so we could claim it to help pay off the medical bills.

 

 

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •