Look deep to uncover 35 ‘hidden’ medical deductions

QTA Consultants, Ltd./Renata Bliumaite

Can you deduct medical expenses on your 2024 tax return?

For most taxpayers, it’s a long shot. You’re entitled to a deduction only to the extent your unreimbursed expenses for the year exceed 7.5% of your AGI.

Strategy: Don’t give up so quickly. If you scour your records, you may find certain expenses that will push you over the 7.5%-of-AGI mark. The IRS and the courts have approved deductions for several rather unusual or extraordinary expenses over the years. Here’s a partial list, in alphabetical order, of 35 deductible expenses you might easily overlook.

1. Acupuncture services (IRS Revenue Ruling 72-593)

2. Attendant to accompany blind or deaf student (IRS Revenue Ruling 64-173)

3. Auto equipment enabling a disabled person to operate a car (S.H. Weinzimer, TC Memo 1958-137)

4. Birth control pills purchased under physician’s prescription (IRS Revenue Ruling 73-200)

5. Chiropractor visits (IRS Revenue Ruling 63-91)

6. Clarinet lessons to correct teeth malocclusion (IRS Revenue Ruling 62-200)

7. Computerized medical data bank payments (IRS Revenue Ruling 71-282)

8. Dentures (Internal Revenue Code Regulation 1.213-1(e)(1)(ii))

9. Fluoridation device recommended by a dentist (IRS Revenue Ruling 64-267)

10. Health club dues prescribed for mental condition (IRS Revenue Ruling 55-261)

11. Hearing aids and component parts (IRS Revenue Ruling 55-261)

12. Lamaze classes for pregnant woman (IRS Letter Ruling 8919009)

13. Laser eye surgery (IRS Revenue Ruling 2003-57)

14. Lead paint removal (IRS Revenue Ruling 79-66)

15. Legal expenses for authorization to treat mental illness (IRS Revenue Ruling 78-281)

16. Legally approved abortion and vasectomy expenses (IRS Revenue Ruling 73-201)

17. Long-distance medical travel even if closer care is available (Internal Revenue Code Regulation 1.213-1(e)(1) (iv))

18. Mattresses and boards specifically designed for arthritic patients (IRS Revenue Ruling 55-261)

19. Nonprescription sunglasses to protect sensitive eyes (IRS Information Letter 2000-0073)

20. Nursing services provided by a person other than a registered nurse (IRS Revenue Ruling 57-481)

21. Orthopedic shoes (IRS Letter Ruling 8221118)

22. Premiums paid for replacing lost or damaged contact lenses (IRS Revenue Ruling 74-429)

23. Reclining chair for cardiac patient (IRS Revenue Ruling 58-155)

24. Recovery expenses from drug addiction (IRS Revenue Ruling 72-226)

25. Remedial reading for dyslexic child (IRS Revenue Ruling 69-607)

26. Retirement home cost attributable to nursing care (Estate of H.W. Smith, 79 TC 313)

27. Sexual dysfunction treatment (IRS Revenue Ruling 75-187)

28. Smoking-cessation programs (IRS Revenue Ruling 99-28)

29. Sterilization of a woman at her own request (IRS Revenue Ruling 73-603)

30. Telephone equipment for person with poor hearing (IRS Revenue Ruling 73-53)

31. Value of room and board provided to a nurse (IRS Revenue Ruling 57-489)

32. Vitamins that are medically prescribed (G.W. Neil, TC Memo 1982-562)

33. Weight loss program for specific disease (IRS Revenue Ruling 2002-1)

34. Wheelchair lift in van to accommodate disabled person (IRS Revenue Ruling 70-66)

35. Wig to alleviate mental condition (IRS Revenue Ruling 62-189)

Tip: This list is by no means all-inclusive. Do a complete review before you file your ’24 return.

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