Disclaimer: The information provided by this blog is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for obtaining accounting, tax, or financial advice from a professional accountant.
Ah… tax time. Some of us dread it, some of us fear it and most of us don’t completely understand it. But take heart things like fertility procedures, surgeries, ultrasound, medicines and even pregnancy tests may be tax deductible, if you qualify.
So what’s an infertility patient to do? If you have an accountant, by all means let them handle things! For the masses who prepare taxes on their own you must consider these four steps.
Step 1: Add It Up.
First, figure out if you qualify for deductions. You can deduct only the amount of your medical expenses that is more than 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). To do this add up all your medical expenses for 2011. (A list of deductible expenses can be found here at the IRS website.)
If you have been keeping track of expenses and saving bills and receipts you are ahead of the game. If not be ready to roll up your sleeves and dig a bit. If you didn’t save records you will have to rely on bank statements and canceled checks. If necessary, you can ask your healthcare providers to provide receipts for the items you paid for. You must do this for all medical expenses, even those not including fertility.
Step 2: Determine Income.
Figure out Your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). Your AGI is your total income from taxable sources minus allowable deductions and can be found on form 1040 on your tax return.
Step 3: Do the Math.
You can deduct ONLY the amount of your medical expenses that is more than 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). For example, if your AGI is $40,000 then 7.5% of that income is $3,000. If you paid medical expenses under $3,000.00, you cannot deduct any of your medical expenses because they are not more than 7.5% of your AGI. If you paid medical expenses of $3,500.00 only $500.00 of those expenses are tax deductible.
Step 4: Read the Fine Print.
As if it wasn’t complicated enough, the IRS does have lots of rules, restrictions and guidelines regarding what expenses, income levels, persons and situations qualify for medical deductions. You must have documentation such as receipts, mileage logs and medical records to back up any deductions you make. They spell it out clearly each year in IRS Publication 502 Medical and Dental Expenses.
Bottom line, like infertility treatment, deducting medical expenses can be confusing and is always unique to each person’s situation. It usually takes a good amount of time and energy and the help of a professional is the best way to go!
About the Author
Stephanie Fry is a former Board Member for RESOLVE New England. She is also the author of The IVF Companion, a personalized guide to surviving and thriving during your IVF cycle.