Single Parent Tax Tip: Deduct Health Care Costs

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The 2011 Tax deadline is fast approaching and SingleDad is looking to help every Divorced Dad with Tax advice and resources. Learn how you can deduct Health Care Costs… Read more

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Tax Tip: Deduct Your Health Care Costs

By Karen Cicero for Completely You

A couple of my friends shelled out tons of money last year on health-related expenses that their insurance didn’t cover — several thousand dollars for braces and orthodontic care, two attempts at in-vitro fertilization (at $15,000 apiece), and laser surgery to correct vision, just to name a few. Ouch. And now that the deadline for filing the

2011 Federal Income Tax is looming (it’s due this year on April 17), they’re wondering if any of the moola they spent is tax-deductible. I called Jennifer Rempe, a lead tax analyst for H&R Block, to get the lowdown for them — and for you too.

The good news: Rempe says that funds paid for health care expenses are deductible, as long they were medically necessary.
For instance, she explained that you can’t deduct the cost of surgery to zap wrinkles on your face, but you could claim the eye operation to improve vision. In the same vein, braces are deductible, but teeth-whitening is not. And fertility treatments and medications? “Most definitely, deductible,” says Rempe. Look here for a complete list of qualified deductions, including health insurance premiums.

But there are two catches.
You can’t deduct any expenses that you paid for with your Health Savings Account (see what these are here), and you can only claim the amount of the expenses that exceeds 7.5 percent of line 37 on Form 1040 — your adjusted gross income (AGI). That’s government-speak for the money you made after deducting expenditures for student loans, IRAs and a few other factors. So, for example, suppose your AGI was $75,000. Then you could deduct medical and dental expenses that exceed $5,635 on Schedule A. “For a couple who spent $30,000 on fertility treatments in a year, it would be a hefty deduction,” says Rempe.

“Any parting advice?” I ask.

“If you’ve had a big medical or dental expense and you suspect you’ll qualify for a deduction, keep tabs on even small bills — like doctor co-pays — because every little bit will help lower your tax burden.”

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Karen Cicero

is Completely You’s Need to Know blogger. A health journalist and magazine editor with more than 15 years of experience, she has contributed to such publications as Prevention, SELF and Health, and she has edited the dental column for Heart & Soul magazine. She loves to cook, read and ask lots of questions (which is why she’s writing this blog).

Richard JaramilloRichard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”

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Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com, a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children. RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents “Make Life Happen…Again!”