Tax Tips: Surprising Medical Deductions

When it comes to medical expenses your doctor has more say in what is deductible than the Internal Revenue Service.

Over the years, when prescribed by a doctor, a medical deduction has been allowed for:

  • Acupuncture
  • The “additional” costs of special food products to alleviate a specific medical condition
  • Clarinet lessons to treat a dental condition
  • Commuting to work when employment was prescribed as therapy to treat a psychological condition
  • An exercise or weight-loss program to alleviate a specific medical condition (including obesity)
  • A nightly glass of wine for a person suffering from angina
  • Lamaze and other childbirth preparation classes
  • A mattress and board to alleviate an arthritic condition
  • A reclining chair for a person with a cardiac condition
  • Therapeutic swimming costs
  • A trained cat to alert a hearing impaired person of unusual sounds
  • A wig for the mental health of a patient with hair loss caused by disease
  • Whirlpool baths

Taxpayers have also been able to deduct:

  • Lead paint removal if a child has been poisoned from eating the paint
  • Legal fees paid to authorize treatment for mental illness
  • The registration fee for travel to and from a medical conference to acquire medical information to be used in making decisions relating to a specific chronic medical condition or disease
  • A self-administered pregnancy test kit

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

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