Updated March 2021
Wondering if it’s worth claiming medical expenses for equipment on your taxes? The answer is yes!
Researching deductions for medical equipment used by yourself, your spouse or another person in your care is worth the effort because you may be able to reduce your tax bill.
The IRS allows taxpayers who itemize to potentially deduct the amount of medical and dental expenses that is more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income on Schedule A (Form 1040). If you take the standard deduction, you cannot claim medical equipment or other health-related deductions.
Qualifying Medical Expenses for Tax Deductions
Once you or your qualified dependent meets the medical deduction threshold, you can investigate the approved medical deductions and credits that may apply to you. You may be able to count as medical expenses the amount you pay for:
- Artificial limbs and teeth
- Braille books and magazines
- Crutch rental or purchase
- Equipment that displays the audio part of television programs as subtitles for persons with a hearing disability
- Eyeglasses, contact lenses and related equipment
- Hearing aids and batteries, repairs and maintenance needed to operate them
- Medical supplies such as bandages
- Oxygen and oxygen equipment to relieve breathing problems caused by a medical condition
- Telephone equipment for a person who is deaf, hard of hearing, or has a speech disability, including teletypewriter (TTY) and telecommunications devices for the deaf (TDD)
- Wheelchairs used for the relief of a sickness or disability
- Wigs purchased on the advice of a physician for the patient’s mental health
Personal medical alert systems, like Philips Lifeline, may be deductible with a prescription from a doctor. If you don’t have a prescription, you might be able to claim the system as a capital expense for special equipment installed in your home for the main purpose of supporting medical care for you, your spouse or your dependent.
Additionally, depending on the product you use, you may be able to claim the Medical Information Plan deduction for "amounts paid to a plan that keeps medical information in a computer data bank and retrieves and furnishes the information upon request to an attending physician."
With so many possible deductions for medical equipment, it’s smart to determine how itemizing could potentially help you cut the cost of aging or reduce the financial burden of being a caregiver. Consult a tax professional and IRS Publication 502 for the most current list of eligible deductions to determine if you qualify.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional financial, accounting, tax or legal consultation; it is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. Always consult professionals when you have specific questions about any financial matter.