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Merlo
Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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When filing for the year of 2008 can I deduct the gas ...

Customer Question

When filing for the year of 2008 can I deduct the gas mileage spent to the doctors, therapists labs, ultra sounds, mris for myself and my dependent. Do I need any proof of these visits?     Can I deduct the premiums for my health dental vision coverage that is taken out of my paycheck thru my employer. If so please explain "included in the AGI" Can I deduct the fee the person I pay to prepare and submit my tax form?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 6 years ago.

Hello cadym,

Yes, you may deduct transportation costs for both yourself and your dependent if the trip was primarily for medical care that qualify as medical expenses. The actual fare for a taxi, bus, train, or ambulance can be deducted. If you use your car for medical transportation, you can deduct actual out-of-pocket expenses such as gas and oil, or you can deduct the standard mileage rate for medical expenses. With either method you may include tolls and parking fees.

You may deduct premiums you paid for your health, dental and vision coverage paid through your employer, only if they are not part of an employer-sponsored health insurance plan (also called cafeteria plan). If they are part of a cafeteria plan, then the amount you paid as premiums are already exempt from tax and cannot be taken as a deduction.

All of your eligible medical expenses including mileage and your insurance premiums (if they are deductible) and any costs you paid out of pocket for doctor visit co-pays, etc. can be deducted for both you and your dependent. However, in order to take advantage of these deductions, you cannot claim the standard deduction. You would fill out Schedule A for your itemized deductions. The portion of Schedule A which pertains to the total of your medical expenses must exceed 7.5% of your AGI before any deduction will be allowed.

Adjusted gross income is defined as gross income minus adjustments to income. If you look at your tax return from last year, your AGI would be shown on:

  • Line 21 if you filed a Form 1040A
  • Line 37 if you filed a Form 1040

So as an example, if your AGI is $50,000, then 7.5% of that is $3,750. So your total medical deductions would need to exceed $3,750 before a deduction would be allowed, and you would only be allowed the portion that was more than $3,750.

Your expenses for tax preparation fees are also deductible on Schedule A but are not subject to any limit.

If this answer was helpful, please press the Accept button. Positive feedback is also appreciated.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX me know if you need more help on this.

Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience: 25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
Merlo and 5 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thank you for your excellent information. Perhaps you overlooked but I did ask if I need any proof of these medical visits
Expert:  Merlo replied 6 years ago.

Hello again cadym,

Yes, I forgot that part, and apologize. You do need to keep an accurate log of your mileage records to take this deduction, just in case you would ever be audited. You should record the date you made the trip, where you went, (which doctor or dentist or medical facility), and the total miles driven for each trip.

Thanks again.

Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience: 25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
Merlo and 5 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank You
Expert:  Merlo replied 6 years ago.

Thank you cadym.

By the way, I need to clarify one thing that I told you regarding your deduction for tax preparation fees. What I meant when I told you that they were not subject to any limit was in relation to the fees themselves. However, the deduction for tax preparation fees on Schedule A is part of the group of deductions called "Job Expenses and Certain Miscellaneous Deductions". That entire group of expenses is also subject to a limitation of 2% of your Adjusted Gross Income.

So again as an example, if your AGI is $50,000 then 2% of that would be $1,000. All of your deductions in that Job Expense and Misc. Deduction category would need to exceed $1,000 before they could be deducted, and then you would only be allowed the portion which exceeded the $1,000.

Thank you again and let me know if you need any further clarifications on this.

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