I have to start by stating that I am by no means a tax professional. Actually, I’m not a big fan of tax season. Due to an error made by H&R Block, we just finished amending our 2014 return. Thankfully, we had their “Peace of Mind” option, so they paid for the mistake. Anyhow, filing our taxes is always something I dread. However, it’s a necessary evil, so I thought I’d mention a little tip that we took advantage of in the past and hope to do so again this year.
Track all travel related medical expenses
The following information was taken from IRS.GOV
Itemized Deduction for 2016 Medical Expenses
If you itemize your deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A, the threshold for unreimbursed medical and dental expenses you paid for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents must exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income before a deduction is permitted.
Most people who itemize their deductions can claim deductions for unreimbursed medical expenses, those which are not covered by health insurance, that exceed 10 percent of their adjusted gross income.
For a rural family, like ours, this can be huge. I recently blogged about a trip to see a pediatric cardiologist. Unfortunately, we don’t have one anywhere near us so we were referred to one outside of Denver. That was a 3 hour trip…one way. Mileage is a big deal when you live remote. It adds up quick and can easily help to push you over the 10% of your income for expenses.
So, my tip would be to track any and all expenses related to medical care. For example, in the past, we were able to deduct a hotel stay. Unfortunately, there was a max that you could write off for a hotel stay, but it was still something.
So, my advice for 2017 is to start saving your receipts from any medical care and to start keeping a spreadsheet for mileage to and from your appointments.
According to the TurboTax website, the following items are deductible:
The IRS allows you to deduct preventative care, treatment, surgeries and dental and vision care as qualifying medical expenses. You can also deduct visits to psychologists and psychiatrists. Prescription medications and appliances such as glasses, contacts, false teeth and hearing aids are also deductible.
The IRS also lets you deduct the expenses that you pay to travel for medical care such as mileage on your car, bus fare and parking fees.
One more tip-get a separate bin for all of your tax related documents. We use something similar to this for filing. It’s easy to transport around the house or to your appointments and keeps everything in one place. (United Solutions Office Organizer)
Disclaimer: I am not a tax advisor and highly recommend you consult one regarding your personal situation.