deducting supplements on tax return question

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by simonedb, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    Hey does anyone know if you can include vitamins and other supplements as part of your medical expense when you itemize health costs on your tax return? I am assuming yes to at least a point, i..e if a doc prescribes you something like a b12 shot and yr ins. didnt pay I would assume you could itemize that---but how far can we take it? does there have to be an official prescription for it or just a suggestion from a health care provider? could a person list their multivitamin etc and how about stuff like water filters for our water pitcher? I personally feel we should be able to but am not sure if there are hard and fast rules on it. (If we are chemically sensitive it can be expensive to proactively care for oneself with air and water filters etc ).
  2. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    I deduct my supplements, vitamins any over the counter meds such as bufferin, tums, sinus
    decongestants, anything that I or my husband takes to help with our health. Not sure about the water filters haven't thought of that one. We have been doing this for several years so far no problem .. It all comes under medical out of pocket expense, I think..
    Could you call and ask someone in your town that files taxes for a living, they may be able to help.

    Good Luck,
  3. nixon

    nixon New Member

    but it seems it hasn't helped us one bit.......2 yrs. ago My out of pocket costs were about $11,000.00 didn't help our refund one bit!!
    This past year my out of pocket was about $ 4, still didn't bring our refund up any....
    My mom who is low income & has no insurance paid $13,400.00 out of pocket and it didn't help her either. My hubby explained how it works to me, but it really didn't make any sense.
    None the less I still claim it all, and I DO have insurance, and STILL have paid that much out of pocket!! I figure why go through ALL THE trouble of keeping track if it's not going to "UP" the refund?????? I continue to do it though............ Andrea
  4. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    thx u guys
    i wonder why it didnt help yr refund nixon?
    have others found it doesnt make a dif to itemize it?
  5. nink

    nink New Member

    This is from the IRS website and is an overview. Much more detailed info is available online if you "google" IRS Form 502. Please note that nutritional supplements and non-prescription drugs and medicines ARE NOT deductible.

    Publication 502 (2008), Medical and Dental Expenses
    (Including the Health Coverage Tax Credit)

    For use in preparing 2008 Returns

    Table of Contents

    * Publication 502 - Introductory Material
    o What's New
    o Reminder
    o Introduction
    + Ordering forms and publications.
    + Tax questions.
    o Useful Items - You may want to see:
    * Publication 502 - Main Content
    o What Are Medical Expenses?
    o What Expenses Can You Include This Year?
    + Community property states.
    o How Much of the Expenses Can You Deduct?
    o Whose Medical Expenses Can You Include?
    + Yourself
    + Spouse
    + Dependent
    + Decedent
    o What Medical Expenses Are Includible?
    + Abortion
    + Acupuncture
    + Alcoholism
    + Ambulance
    + Annual Physical Examination
    + Artificial Limb
    + Artificial Teeth
    + Autoette
    + Bandages
    + Body Scan
    + Breast Reconstruction Surgery
    + Birth Control Pills
    + Braille Books and Magazines
    + Capital Expenses
    + Car
    + Chiropractor
    + Christian Science Practitioner
    + Contact Lenses
    + Crutches
    + Dental Treatment
    + Diagnostic Devices
    + Disabled Dependent Care Expenses
    + Drug Addiction
    + Drugs
    + Eyeglasses
    + Eye Surgery
    + Fertility Enhancement
    + Founder's Fee
    + Guide Dog or Other Service Animal
    + Health Institute
    + Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
    + Hearing Aids
    + Home Care
    + Home Improvements
    + Hospital Services
    + Insurance Premiums
    + Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled, Special Home for
    + Laboratory Fees
    + Lead-Based Paint Removal
    + Learning Disability
    + Legal Fees
    + Lifetime Care—Advance Payments
    + Lodging
    + Long-Term Care
    + Meals
    + Medical Conferences
    + Medical Information Plan
    + Medical Services
    + Medicines
    + Nursing Home
    + Nursing Services
    + Operations
    + Optometrist
    + Organ Donors
    + Osteopath
    + Oxygen
    + Physical Examination
    + Pregnancy Test Kit
    + Prosthesis
    + Psychiatric Care
    + Psychoanalysis
    + Psychologist
    + Special Education
    + Sterilization
    + Stop-Smoking Programs
    + Surgery
    + Telephone
    + Television
    + Therapy
    + Transplants
    + Transportation
    + Trips
    + Tuition
    + Vasectomy
    + Vision Correction Surgery
    + Weight-Loss Program
    + Wheelchair
    + Wig
    + X-ray
    o What Expenses Are Not Includible?
    + Baby Sitting, Childcare, and Nursing Services for a Normal, Healthy Baby
    + Controlled Substances
    + Cosmetic Surgery
    + Dancing Lessons
    + Diaper Service
    + Electrolysis or Hair Removal
    + Flexible Spending Account
    + Funeral Expenses
    + Future Medical Care
    + Hair Transplant
    + Health Club Dues
    + Health Coverage Tax Credit
    + Health Savings Accounts
    + Household Help
    + Illegal Operations and Treatments
    + Insurance Premiums
    + Maternity Clothes
    + Medical Savings Account (MSA)
    + Medicines and Drugs From Other Countries
    + Nonprescription Drugs and Medicines
    + Nutritional Supplements
    + Personal Use Items
    + Swimming Lessons
    + Teeth Whitening
    + Veterinary Fees
    + Weight-Loss Program
    o How Do You Treat Reimbursements?
    + Insurance Reimbursement
    o How Do You Figure and Report the Deduction on Your Tax Return?
    + What Tax Form Do You Use?
    + How Do You Figure Your Deduction?
    o Sale of Medical Equipment or Property
    + Determining gain.
    o Damages for Personal Injuries
    o Impairment-Related Work Expenses
    o Health Insurance Costs for Self-Employed Persons
    o Health Coverage Tax Credit
    + Who Can Take This Credit?
    + Qualifying Family Member
    + Qualified Health Insurance
    + Nonqualified Health Insurance
    + Eligible Coverage Month
    + How To Report
    + Refundable Credit
    + Advance Payments
    o How To Get Tax Help

    [This Message was Edited on 03/25/2009]
  6. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    well thanks nink, thats a bummer but u just saved me the trouble of going thru a bunch of receipts and adding up a bunch of stuff. i assume if i have a prescrip for a supplement that would be looked at like a prescrip med then though. hmmm, so need to get docs to write out orders for anything we want to count on taxes. i wonder if they write an order for like sunlamp for mood that would count.
  7. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    Your medical expenses have to be deemed a medical necessity to be counted. Of course, we feel that everything we do is necessary, but it is not viewed that way by the IRS. True, if your Dr. wrote something that said you needed whatever it is you purchase, different story.

    Some people can write off swimming pools etc (a percentage of them) because they are necessary for their healing after surgery etc.

    Your medical expenses have to exceed a percentage of your yearly income in order to make a difference in your tax return. 7%? (brain is frazzled so could be totally wrong on that right now)
    Have you compared with and without to know if it has made a difference or not. You may not see a difference in refund, unless it puts you in a different tax bracket and changes significantly what you've paid in verses what you owe. If you look at a tax table (which comes in the mail) you'll see that the difference in taxes owed (which would in the end determine your refund) for different incomes are minimal.

    Make sure you add in all premiums paid. I get a print out directly from the pharmacies I use. I never save the receipts for prescriptions.- oh my, I'd have a stack!
  8. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    thx janalyn
    I definitely paid enough outofpocket for med to bother, but not sure how much it will help, giving it all to acct after i do basics.
    i do hve health ins but doesnt always pay for everything or everybody. i thought of calling the ins co. and asking them if they had a printout of the annual amount they paid and i paid in one form instead of having to go thru all my papers, but i have pretty much already done that work.
    thats good idea with drugstore printout, good to know, part of complication for me is have an era also so have been getting reimbursed for some of it all year and needed to go thru and figure out what that was so didnt count it twice.
  9. celeste1226

    celeste1226 New Member

    I manage a tax office every season except this one. And in order to deduct medications you have to have a prescription from a doctor. In order to take the tax credit all medical expenses (out of pocket- drs, Rx copays and prescribed medical its) need to be 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. The medical will fall into your schedule A. which is your itemized deductions that is where you would get credit for your mortgate interest, property taxes, donations etc... all this together has to equal more than your standard deduction to get any credit. And also depending on your tax bracket you will get a portion of each. that may be why some did not get the full credits. There is a limit you can take. for instance your standard/itemized deduction cannot be more than you adjusted gross income. you can check the website to find out more. Hope some of this clarifies it. It is kinda confusing if you do not know taxes. Some people do put their supplements on there and get away with it. But your not supposed to. Its kinda like a person claiming someone elses kids to get the earned income credit alot of people do it and get away with it until they are audited then they are screwed and have to pay it back plus penalties and interest. I personally would not do it. Because it ususally is not worth it.

    Good luck


    PS. you can also claim mileage to and from the doctors office. so if you keep track of that you can use that. you can also call your pharmacy and doctors offices at the end of the year and have them send you a printout of what you have paid. I do it every year. Also if you pay for parking at a doctors office you can claim that.
    [This Message was Edited on 03/25/2009]