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Medical Expenses: What You Can – And Can’t – Deduct

(credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/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) - What medical expenses can you deduct, and when? There’s been a change.

The IRS sued a man who tried to deduct the bills from his veterinarian as a medical expense. Maybe they got suspicious when they found the prescriptions were made out to Fido.

In a change in tax policy, the IRS rules now say that taxpayers may only itemize medical expenses in order to deduct them from taxes if they exceed 10% of adjusted gross income, unless you or your spouse is older than 65, in which case you can deduct medical expenses if they are more than 7% of adjusted gross income through 2016.

But if you can itemize, what can you itemize?

Medicine can be deducted if it is by prescription or insulin. Over the counter medicines are not deductible. But items other than drugs that are over the counter – like blood sugar test kits, crutches and the like are deductible if they are related to medical care.

And cosmetic surgery, if only intended to improve appearance is not deductible, but if needed to correct a deformity is deductible.

Kennel cough you’ll just have to pay out of your own pocket.

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