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An income tax question - US

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by November Girl, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. November Girl

    November Girl Senior Member

    If you ask a CPA, they'll tell you that any non-prescription meds or supplements are not deductible. But I've read in more than one CFS discussion that you can deduct these if you have a letter from your doctor. i think the letter has to say that the supplements are needed for your health problem, and that there are no prescription meds that can be used in the same way.

    Does anyone know if this is documented anywhere in the tax code or IRS publications?

    I think I have enough deductions without this, but would like to know.
  2. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

    I was told that over the counter medicines can be deducted. I hope that is true because I had them on my last tax return.

    This is from IRS publication 502 for the year 2010. It is pretty vague unfortunately. If you can't claim vitamins does that mean you can't claim herbal supplements? It does not make a distinction.

    What Are Medical Expenses?

    Medical expenses are the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body. These expenses include payments for legal medical services rendered by physicians, surgeons, dentists, and other medical practitioners. They include the costs of equipment, supplies, and diagnostic devices needed for these purposes.

    Medical care expenses must be primarily to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental defect or illness. They do not include expenses that are merely beneficial to general health, such as vitamins or a vacation.

    Medical expenses include the premiums you pay for insurance that covers the expenses of medical care, and the amounts you pay for transportation to get medical care. Medical expenses also include amounts paid for qualified long-term care services and limited amounts paid for any qualified long-term care insurance contract.

    Oh No! I just found the paragraph: Nutritional Supplements:

    You cannot include in medical expenses the cost of nutritional supplements, vitamins, herbal supplements, natural medicines, etc. unless they are recommended by a medical practitioner as treatment for a specific medical condition diagnosed by a physician. Otherwise, these items are taken to maintain your ordinary good health, and are not for medical care.

    I will need to have a talk with the guy who did my taxes!! It does look like, however, that you could get a note from your doctor and then claim it on your taxes.
  3. Sushi

    Sushi Moderation Resource Albuquerque

    My tax person says you can deduct supplements (all kinds) if prescribed by a doctor and you have that in writing. In other words, I have a treatment plan from my doc that includes certain supplements with their doses, etc. This, I am told can be deducted.

    If I order them on line, buy them at a health food store or over the counter in the pharmacy, I don't believe you can deduct them legally.

    Many docs will give you a letter "prescribing supplements." That is probably enough if they give all the info they would when prescribing a drug.

    Hope this is right! It is what I have been doing.


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