Skip to main content

An often overlooked medical deduction is the cost of round-trip travel to visit doctors, dentists, hospitals, clinics, therapists and other health professionals to receive medical care.

You can also deduct round-trip travel to visit a sick spouse or dependent in the hospital or another medical facility if the visits are recommended by a doctor as part of the patient’s treatment.

If you take a taxi, bus, train, airplane or ambulance you can deduct the actual expense. If you drive, you can deduct 24 cents per mile in lieu of gas and oil, plus any parking fees and tolls. This mileage allowance is determined by the Internal Revenue Service each year.

The cost of lodging while away from home primarily for and essential to medical care by a doctor at a licensed hospital or similar facility is also deductible, up to a maximum of $50 per person per night. Meals while away from home overnight are not deductible. You can deduct the cost of the hotel room, but not the dinner bill. The lodging expenses of a person accompanying a patient, such as a parent or a spouse, are also deductible, up to $50 per night, if the patient is unable to travel alone or if that person’s presence is primarily for and essential to the patient’s care.

TheStreet Recommends

New Jersey tax pro Robert D. Flach has been preparing 1040s for individuals since 1972.

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at