I have talked about some of the items that can be claimed as medical deductions on your Form 1040. The following items are not deductible as a medical expense:
- Babysitting and child care.
- Body piercing.
- Bottled water.
- Diaper service (unless needed to relieve the effects of a particular disease).
- Disability income and accidental death and dismemberment insurance policy premiums.
- Funeral, burial or cremation expenses.
- Health club dues or an exercise program undertaken to improve one’s general health, even if recommended by a doctor; the program must be prescribed by a doctor to treat a specific medical condition.
- Maternity clothes.
- Nutritional supplements and vitamins (unless prescribed for a specific medical condition).
- Non-prescription over-the-counter medicines and drugs (although allowed under a medical FSA – see yesterday’s column).
- Nursing services for a normal, healthy baby.
- Personal and household services (unless they qualify as long-term care expenses).
- Premiums for an insurance policy that provides guaranteed payments for days in the hospital.
- Surgery for purely cosmetic reasons.
- Teeth whitening, even when performed by a dentist.
- Toothpaste, toiletries and cosmetics.
- Travel for general health improvement.
A final word on medical expenses. Because of the 7.5% of AGI exclusion, you may not have enough to get a federal tax benefit, but check your state tax return. In New Jersey taxpayers can deduct medical expenses to the extent they exceed 2% of NJ Gross Income.
New Jersey tax pro Robert D. Flach has been preparing 1040s for individuals since 1972.
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