Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Itemized Deductions

Medical and Dental Expenses

Rules for Deducting the Expenses

Medical and dental expenses are deductible only if taxpayers itemize their deductions. Further, taxpayers can deduct only the amount of unreimbursed medical and dental expenses that exceeds 10 percent of their adjusted gross income (AGI).

If the taxpayer or their spouse is age 65 or over, they will use the 7.5% threshold of AGI. This applies to any tax year beginning after December 31, 2012, and ending before January 1, 2017.

Qualified medical and dental expenses paid by the taxpayer during the tax year can be included for:

  • The taxpayer
  • The taxpayer's spouse
  • Dependents (must have qualified as dependents at the time the medical services were provided or at the time the expenses were paid)
  • Individuals who could be the taxpayer’s dependent except:
    • They do not meet the gross income test,
    • They do not meet the joint return test, or
    • The taxpayer or spouse, if filing jointly, could be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return (refer to Publication 17).

Review Whose Medical Expenses Can You Include? in the Medical and Dental Expenses chapter of Publication 17.

Also, refer to the Interview Tips - Itemized Deductions in the Volunteer Resource Guide, Deductions tab.

More Information

If a child of divorced or separated parents is claimed as a dependent on either parent's return, each parent may deduct the medical expenses they individually paid for the child. Refer to Publication 17 for details.

Publication 17: Whose Medical Expenses Can You Include?
Interview Tips - Itemized Deductions

Publication 17: Whose Medical Expenses Can You Include?

Interview Tips - Itemized Deductions