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Tax Deductions For Weight Loss Programs

(credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - How do you turn fat reduction into a fat deduction?

After Paula Deen revealed that she had type 2 diabetes, she went on a weight loss regimen and lost 30 pounds in 2012. In 2013, she may also lose something else – a part of her tax bill.

The IRS issued a ruling that states that if your physician determines that you are obese and then prescribes a weight loss program, the fees for the weight loss program are deductible medical expenses for tax purposes.

Now a weight loss program is distinguished from membership dues for a health club. Membership dues are not deductible. A fee for a specific weight loss program is. But if you succeed in losing weight, at some point the program fee is no longer deductible. This is because medical expenses for a specific illness are deductible, but expenses for maintaining health are not.

I guess it’s the government’s way of preventing people from being BOTH too rich and too thin!

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