The older people get, the more medical expenses they tend to incur. The only saving grace is the expenses may add up to a federal income tax deduction. Specifically, you can deduct medical expenses you are not reimbursed for to the extent they exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) for 2017 (unchanged from 2016). If you or your spouse turns 65 in 2016, you may still use the former threshold of 7.5% for 2016. In 2017 the threshold will be 10% regardless of age. Also, the write-off is only available if you itemize using Schedule A of Form 1040.
What if you pay medical expenses for an elderly relative? You can add those expenses to your own for tax deduction purposes if the relative is your dependent, which means you pay over half of that person’s support for the year and he or she does not file a joint federal income tax return. (Source: Internal Revenue Code Sec. 213(a)) However, you must still clear the 10 percent of AGI hurdle to claim any deduction.
Common Medical Expenses for Seniors
Here’s an alphabetical list of costs that seniors might be likely to incur that count as medical expenses for itemized deduction purposes:
|– Source: IRS Publication 502,||Medical and Dental Expenses|
The itemized federal tax deduction for medical expenses can be meaningful for elderly people who have high expenses and relatively low adjusted gross incomes. Again, don’t forget that you may be entitled to deduct medical expenses that you pay for an elderly loved one who is your dependent as defined above. Contact your tax adviser for more information about medical expense deductions.