Eight Things to Know about Medical and Dental Expenses and Your Taxes
If you, your spouse or dependents had significant medical or dental costs in 2011, you may be able to deduct those expenses when you file your tax return. Here are eight things the IRS wants you to know about medical and dental expenses and other benefits.
1. You must itemize You deduct qualifying medical and dental expenses if you itemize on Form 1040, Schedule A.
2. Deduction is limited You can deduct total medical care expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income for the year. You figure this on Form 1040, Schedule A.
3. Expenses must have been paid in 2011 You can include the medical and dental expenses you paid during the year, regardless of when the services were provided. You’ll need to have good receipts or records to substantiate your expenses.
4. You can’t deduct reimbursed expenses Your total medical expenses for the year must be reduced by any reimbursement. Normally, it makes no difference if you receive the reimbursement or if it is paid directly to the doctor or hospital.
5. Whose expenses qualify You may include qualified medical expenses you pay for yourself, your spouse and your dependents. Some exceptions and special rules apply to divorced or separated parents, taxpayers with a multiple support agreement or those with a qualifying relative who is not your child.
6. Types of expenses that qualify You can deduct expenses primarily paid for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease, or treatment affecting any structure or function of the body. For drugs, you can only deduct prescription medication and insulin. You can also include premiums for medical, dental and some long-term care insurance in your expenses. Starting in 2011, you can also include lactation supplies.
7. Transportation costs may qualify You may deduct transportation costs primarily for and essential to medical care that qualify as medical expenses. You can deduct the actual fare for a taxi, bus, train, plane or ambulance as well as tolls and parking fees. 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, which is 19 cents per mile for 2011.
8. Tax-favored saving for medical expenses Distributions from Health Savings Accounts and withdrawals from Flexible Spending Arrangements may be tax free if used to pay qualified medical expenses including prescription medication and insulin.
Taxable or Non-Taxable Income?
Although most income you receive is taxable and must be reported on your federal income tax return, there are some instances when income may not be taxable.
The IRS offers the following list of items that do not have to be included as taxable income:
These examples are not all-inclusive. For more information, see Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income, which can be obtained at the IRS.gov website or by calling the IRS at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676)
Subject: LegacyForm 1040 (1040 e-File) – Error Reject Codes 0610, 0611, 0612
ATTN: Software Developers, Return Transmitters and Authorized IRS e-file Providers/EROs
Please be advised that a programming correction to Error Reject Codes 0610, 0611 and 0612 was implemented nationwide on January 31, 2012 for the 2:00 a.m. (Local Submission Processing Time) drain. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
IRS Delays Refunds
Many members have called us wondering why refunds are being delayed. We received this official IRS QuickAlert:
"The IRS has opened its filing season successfully this month, and refunds have started going out to many taxpayers. As with the start of any tax season, there are system validations that occur requiring some fine-tuning of our systems. As part of this, some taxpayers will receive refunds approximately one week later than initial projections they may have received, but these are still in line with historical refund delivery times.
The IRS reminds taxpayers that refund time frames provided by "Where's My Refund" and tax providers are projected time frames and are subject to revision. Many different factors can affect the timing of the refund after the IRS receives the return for processing. The IRS apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the revised refund dates.
When the IRS announced the opening of the 2012 filing season, it advised taxpayers who electronically file and select direct deposit that they could see their refunds in as few as 10 days and 90 percent of refunds are provided within 21 days. Some taxpayers are getting refunds much faster, but at this time taxpayers should expect refunds to be issued as indicated in the original IRS guidelines.
The one-week delay for some refunds relates to fine-tuning IRS systems to adjust for new safeguards put in place this tax season to provide stronger protection against refund fraud. The IRS is providing additional screening for fraud this year before issuing refunds, but the vast majority of taxpayers can still continue to expect to receive their refunds in a timely fashion."
- IRS QuickAlerts for Tax Professionals
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