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Examples of Medical and Dental Payments You Can Deduct

Examples of Medical and Dental Payments You Cannot Deduct

Schedule A, Line 1 – Medical and Dental Expenses

Schedule A, Line 3 – Medical and Dental Expense Threshold

Table of Contents

Chap. 9 – Sch. A: Medical & Dental Expenses


Generally, only your medical and dental expenses in excess of 10% of your adjuste gross income are deductible (Form 1040, line 38). However, you can take a deduction for your medical and dental expenses in excess of 7.5% of your adjusted gross income if either you or your spouse was born before January 2, 1952.  See the instructions for line 3, below.

Examples of Medical and Dental Payments You Can Deduct: If you were not reimbursed, you can deduct the amounts you paid for the following:

Deceased taxpayer: Certain medical expenses paid out of a deceased taxpayer's estate can be claimed on the deceased taxpayer's final return. See “Decedent” in Publication 502, for details.

Limit on long-term care premiums you can deduct: The deductible amount for qualified long-term care insurance contracts depends on the age, at the end of the year, of the person for whom the premiums were paid.

Examples of Medical and Dental Items That You Cannot Deduct the Cost Of:

Schedule A, Line 1 – Medical and Dental Expenses: Enter the total deductible medical and dental expenses you paid, less any reimbursements you received from insurance or other sources. See Reimbursements, later.

If advanced premium tax credit payments were made on your behalf, or you think you may be eligible to claim a premium tax credit, fill out Form 8962 before filling out Schedule A, line 1.

Medical and dental insurance premiums you paid are included on line 1. But if you are taking a deduction for self-employed health insurance premium payments on line 29, of Form 1040, reduce the premiums by the amount you are deducting on line 29.

NOTE: If, during the tax year, you were an eligible trade adjustment assistance (TAA) recipient, an alternative TAA (ATAA) recipient, reemployment TAA (RTAA) recipient, or Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) pension recipient, you must complete Form 8885 before completing Schedule A, line 1. When calculating the amount of insurance premiums you can deduct on Schedule A, do not include:

Whose medical and dental expenses can you include? You can deduct on line 1 the medical and dental bills you paid during the year for yourself and a person who is one of the following either when they were provided the services were provided or when you paid for the services:

Example: You provided over half of your mother's support but cannot claim her as a dependent in 2016. You can include on line 1 any medical and dental expenses for your mother that you paid in 2016.

Insurance premiums for certain nondependents: If you have a medical or dental insurance policy that also covers a person who is not your dependent , you cannot deduct any of the premiums for that policy that are attributable to this person, unless they fall in one of the categories described under Whose medical and dental expenses can you include. However, if you had family coverage when you added this person to the policy and your premiums did not increase, you can incude the full amount of the premium for the plicy on line 1. See Publication 502 for more information.

Reimbursements: You cannot deduct on line 1 amy amounts that your insurance company pays directly to a medical or dental provider for services you receive. If you paid medical or dental expenses in 2016 and received a reimbursement in 2016, you can only claim the unreimbursed amount (if any) on line 1. If you received a reimbursement in 2016 for medical or dental expenses you paid in a prior year, do not reduce your 2016 expenses by the amount reimbursed. However, if you deducted the expenses that you are being reimbursed for in the prior year and the deduction reduced your tax, you must include the reimbursement in income on Form 1040, line 21. See “How Do You Treat Reimbursements” in Publication 502 for details on how to figure the amount to include.

Cafeteria plans: Only include on line 1 insurance premiums paid by an employer-sponsored health insurance plan (cafeteria plan) if the premiums are included in box 1 of your Form(s) W-2. Also, only include any other medical and dental expenses that the plan pays if the amount paid is included in box 1 of your Form(s) W-2.

Schedule A, Line 3 – Calculation of Medical and Dental Expense Threshold: Multiply line 2 by 10%. But, if either you or your spouse is age 65 or older during the year (i.e., was born before January 2, 1952), multiply line 2 by 7.5%. In the case of married couples, the 7.5% rate applies if you and your spouse file married filing jointly or married filing separately, as long as one spouse was born is age 65 or older.

If you are claiming the 7.5% threshold amount for medical and dental expenses, make sure you check the appropriate box(es) on line 39a of Form 1040 for your situation. If your filing status is married filing separately or head of household, and you were not born before January 2, 1952, attach a statement to your return indicating that you are taking the 7.5% threshold because your spouse meets the requirements.

Death before age 65: A taxpayer is considered to be age 65 on the day before the taxpayer's 65th birthday. If the taxpayer wasn't age 65 or older at the time of death, the 7.5% threshold doesn't apply for that taxpayer or the spouse of that taxpayer who is under age 65. For example, a taxpayer who was born on February 14, 1951, dies on February 13, 2016. The taxpayer is considered age 65 at the time of death and the 7.5% threshold applies. However, if the taxpayer died on February 12, 2016, the taxpayer isn't considered age 65 and the 7.5% threshold doesn't apply.