7 Dependent Medical Expenses You Didn’t Know You Can Deduct Off Your Taxes

Federal taxes are difficult to avoid, even if you’re over the age of 65. After all, Uncle Sam wants his share of Social Security payments, retirement savings and dividends from stock portfolios. Unfortunately, the taxes these income sources generate may leave you with a hefty bill when April rolls around. If claiming the standard deduction puts you in debt, try lowering your tax liability with these often-overlooked dependent medical expenses.

Service Animals

Your four-legged friend may help reduce your tax bill, even if you’ve already claimed his or her purchase price on a previous return. Ongoing deductions include veterinarian visits, food and other expenses required for your pet to effectively function as a service animal.

Wigs for Cancer-Related Hair Loss

If radiation or chemotherapy results in hair loss, find a wig that suits your style and deduct the expense at tax time. The IRS also approves deductions for wigs needed to conceal the effects of alopecia.

Keep in mind that deductions are available for wigs, but not hair transplants. The exception is if you enhance your appearance with hair transplants for work-related purposes.

Doctor-Prescribed Diets

Buying gluten-free bread or sugar-free cookies can really cut into your food budget. Luckily, the IRS lets you deduct the cost difference between specialty foods and regular foods if you have a medical condition that benefits from dietary restrictions. To qualify, your doctor must request that you follow a special diet and provide recommendations for foods you should consume or avoid.

Weight-Loss Programs

Sometimes a dietary change isn’t enough to help you manage your weight. If this happens, your doctor may recommend a weight loss program such as Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers. Both of these programs, as well as many of the ones offered in hospitals, are tax deductible.

Health-Related Home Improvements

Home improvements done to accommodate disabilities may qualify for a tax deduction, but restrictions apply. Your health-related home improvements must not increase the value of your home for an amount higher than the cost of renovation expenses.

Holistic Health Treatments

If conventional medicine fails to address all of your symptoms, your doctors may recommend alternative remedies. Some of these treatments, including acupuncture, massage therapy and chiropractic care, may qualify for a tax deduction.

Medical Conference Costs

Want to learn more about a medical condition you or your spouse battles? Attend a tax-deductible medical conference. You can deduct travel expenses and admission costs, but food is not deductible.

You can also deduct the expenses for classes that help you manage a chronic condition, such as a speech class that helps you manage your aphasia. Talk to your doctor or insurance company if you cannot find any relevant classes.

Many golden-agers dread filing federal taxes, but there are numerous ways to reduce your annual liability. Itemizing medical expenses like the ones detailed above helps you protect your assets while improving your overall well-being. Learn more about Riddle Village and how we can help you prepare for the future.