Tip of the Month for July 2001
Good Medicine From The IRS
Drug or Alcohol Treatment may be what's needed, but the monetary costs may seem insurmountable. Thanks to the tax law, any unreimbursed expenditures for drug and alcohol treatment you can deduct as a medical expense. Got other bad habits? This includes smoking cessation programs also. The IRS makes it a little easier to make a break. Oh, for weight watchers, your time has not come yet; weight-loss programs are not deductible. Sorry.
As An Employee you may not be able to deduct expenses, medical or otherwise. If your medical expeses are less thatn 7 percent of your adjusted gross income, you will not be able to deduct them. However, your employer may offer a "flexible spending account" (FSA) for paying medical expenses. Your employer's FSA can provide a tax break by allowing you to pay for medical expenses in pre-tax dollars. You deserve a break today.
Appearances Can Be Deceiving. While tummy tucks, liposuction and face-lifts are definitely medical and surgical procedures, they do not qualify as deductions for medical expenses. However, if cosmetic or plastic surgery is performed as the result of disfugurement from birth defects or an accident, these expenses would qualify. So, if you want to get rid of that tattoo that pays homage to someone long gone, do it now, but you won't be able to deduct for it (even though your health may be adversely affected if your current flame finds out).
For more info, in excruciating detail, see IRS Publication 502: "Medical and Dental Expenses."