Are you missing out on an important tax deduction? If you have hearing aids and itemize when you file your tax returns, you may be! Whether you have yet to file your 2017 tax returns or you are already planning for your 2018 tax returns, here’s what you need to know about your tax-deductible hearing aids.
What Is A Medical Care Expense?
There are many categories of tax deductions that may help you lower your taxable income each year. One of those categories is medical care expenses. When you meet the minimum threshold for the year, which many can, this deduction can be a smart way to save on taxes. Currently, the minimum threshold is over 10% of your income (if you’re under 65) and over 7.5% of your income if you’re over 65. Under the recently enacted tax law, the threshold will change to be 10 percent of income for everyone starting in 2019.
The good news is that hearing aids are considered a medical care expense when a hearing evaluation has led to a diagnosis of hearing loss.
According to the IRS website, medical care expenses are “payments for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or payments for treatments affecting any structure or function of the body.” In addition to hearing aids, these expenses include:
- Doctors, dentists, surgeons, chiropractors, psychiatrists and other practitioners’ fees
- In some cases, the cost of inpatient hospital care or residential nursing home care
- Payments for acupuncture treatments, drug treatment programs and more
- When recommended by a physician for a particular disease, weight-loss programs
- Payments for insulin and payments for drugs that require a prescription
- The cost of reading or prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, and many more assistive devices
These are just a few examples of the medical expenses that can add up over the year to a sizeable tax deduction. You can find a full list of qualified deductible expenses on the IRS website.
Hearing Aids As A Tax Deduction
If you have hearing aids, you should know that it’s more than just the aids themselves that are deductible. Throughout the year, be sure to save receipts for:
- Hearing aid batteries
- Visits to your hearing healthcare provider
- Hearing aid repairs and maintenance costs not included in provider costs
- Specialized equipment to help with hearing loss such as amplification devices, home safety devices specifically for those with hearing loss such as carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors and security systems
- Items required to do your job if you still work and have hearing loss such as specialized computer or phone equipment
Whether you’re just getting started with your hearing aids or have been making the most of them for some time, you know that these expenses can add up during the year. The most important thing to remember is that every receipt counts, and it’s better to ask if it’s a deductible expense than to lose out on it.
You’ve made a valuable investment in your hearing by purchasing hearing aids to manage your hearing loss. Don’t forget to claim the cost on your tax returns this year and start planning for the hearing-related expenses you can deduct for next year.
If you would like more specific information about medical care expense deductions, contact your tax professional.