How Medical Expenses Could Help You Save Money During Tax Season

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

With tax day around the corner, it’s time to gather those W-2s and financial statements in hopes that your return will equal a big check. Know what may help? Health-related tax deductions, which can add up for those who qualify. While crunching the numbers may require some due diligence, such as sorting drugstore receipts, tallying mileage to doctor appointments and tracking down 2017 medical invoices, the payoff of reducing your taxable income may be worth the work. Jeremy Schoettle, chief financial officer of UnitedHealthOne, a UnitedHealthcare company, has some suggestions to keep in mind during tax season.

Clock It: The IRS allows a tax reimbursement of 17 cents per mile for travel to and from medical appointments, so make sure your travel log is up to date.

Itemized vs. standard deductions: In order to take advantage of the medical deduction on your tax return you will want to keep and itemize your medical invoices, receipts out-of-pockets and paperwork for the year. In 2017, if you are itemizing deductions, you may deduct medical expenses once they exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income. For example, if your adjusted gross income is $50,000, the first $3,750 of medical expenses are not deductible, and neither are any expenses that you were reimbursed for or paid for with pre-tax dollars. Any non-reimbursed expenses beyond $3,750 would be deductible.

What can you deduct? As a general rule, procedures that are medically necessary are deductible while enhancements that doctors wouldn’t consider medically necessary, or are considered cosmetic, are not. Health insurance premiums may also be claimed as a deduction, if you pay your premium entirely on your own. If you do not pay your premium on your own, or your health insurance premiums are paid on a pre-tax basis, you cannot claim them as a deduction.

You have two extra days to complete your income taxes this year, with April 15 falling on a weekend, but don’t put off learning how to help save some money on health-related expenses.

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