Whose Medical Expenses Can You Really Deduct?
NEW YORK (MainStreet) In my last Tax Tip, I said you can deduct medical expenses, in excess of 10% of your Adjusted Gross Income, you paid during the year for yourself, your spouse or a dependent. But you do not need to actually claim a person as a dependent on your 2013 Form 1040 to be able to deduct medical expenses you paid for that person.
You can deduct expenses paid for a person who was claimed as your dependent in the year the expenses were incurred but not in the year the expenses were actually paid. You can also deduct expenses for someone who would otherwise qualify as your dependent but cannot be claimed as one for 2013 because his or her income exceeds the $3,900 income limitation or because he or she is filing a joint return.
Let's say you were able to claim your 24 year-old son as a dependent in 2012. He lived at home and had only $3,000 of income for the year. He had extensive dental work done at the end of 2012. You paid all of his medical bills and did not finish paying for the dental work until early 2013. You cannot claim your son as a dependent for 2013, as he finally got a full-time job in April and moved out of the house. You can deduct the dental expenses you paid in 2013 for the work done in 2012.
What if your son still lived with you in 2013 but earned $5,000 for the year? Even though you provided more than half of his support you cannot claim him as a dependent for 2013, because he earned more than $3,900. You can deduct any of his medical bills you paid on your 2013 Schedule A.
If you are divorced and have young children, who live with your former spouse, you generally cannot claim them as dependents because you are not the "custodial parent." You can deduct any medical expenses, including health insurance premiums, you paid for your children. For purposes of the medical expense deduction the children are considered to be dependents of both parents.
--Written by Robert D. Flach for MainStreet