4 Medical Expenses You Can’t Deduct

(FinancialHealth.net) – Most Americans received an extension on tax filing times as a result of coronavirus. That new deadline is swiftly approaching. People who receive significant medical care throughout the year, but have yet to file, can and should take advantage of the many deductions available to reduce the amount they owe.

There are several expenses one can claim on a 1040 Schedule A form, but that doesn’t mean every expense qualifies. Take the guesswork out of filing with this list of items you cannot deduct.

1. Medical Marijuana

Marijuana is often used as an alternative to narcotics and other forms of modern medicine. It may help treat symptoms of certain diseases and conditions such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Chronic pain
  • Hyperactivity

If you’re using medical marijuana on a regular basis, you need to know it’s not tax deductible. Even if you reside in a state where it’s legal and you have a valid prescription, it is not approved by the FDA to treat health problems.

Marijuana is considered a Schedule I Controlled Substance by the federal government, the FDA and DEA, meaning it has not been proven to have a valid medical use, therefore it can’t be deemed a viable medical expense.

If you use other approved medications as prescribed by your doctor, you can claim these as deductions when filing your taxes.

2. Natural Therapy
When seeking a natural approach to your health, take into consideration that some treatments may not be deductible. For example, herbal and nutritional supplements, prescribed by a medical doctor are valid medical expenses in the eyes of the IRS along with natural therapies, such as acupuncture.

If you take these supplements on your own without a doctor’s recommendation, they would not be deductible.

3. Cosmetic Surgery
As a general rule of thumb, cosmetic surgery is not a deductible medical expense unless there is a life-saving or life-altering reason to do the procedure. For example, if you received Botox injections to eliminate wrinkles, they are considered strictly cosmetic and their cost is not deductible.

On the other hand, Botox can be used by a doctor to treat things like gastroparesis, migraines and excessive sweating. The costs for these treatments would be deductible medical expenses.

4. Any Medical Expenses Paid For With Your Health Savings Account
Services such as designer prescription sunglasses and professional teeth whitening are expenses that you have to pay out-of-pocket for.

If you have a health savings account (HSA) or flexible savings account (FSA) set up by your employer, you can use these funds to pay for certain non-covered expenses or high deductibles. But keep in mind that you can’t claim them on your taxes as a deductible medical expense.

There are a lot of rules when it comes to what can and can’t be deducted from your income tax liability. While you want to save as much as you can, make sure you get it right the first time around. Consulting with a tax professional can help you make sure you’re taking advantage of every possible deduction.

~Here’s to Your Financial Health!

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