Can I Claim My Child's Medical Expenses On My Taxes? Here's What Parents Need To Know


Having kids is life-changing experience, especially when it comes to filing your taxes. Kids are cute and amazing and all that, but really, a major perk is being able to claim them as dependents and get some more deduction. Yep, I said it. You can deduct education costs, pregnancy costs, and you can even claim your child's medical expenses on your taxes. Kids are expensive, but at least Uncle Sam will let you get some of it back.

The new tax reform bill still allows you to take an exemption just for having a kid. For 2017, you can claim $4,050 for each qualifying kid, whether it's your biological child, a stepchild, a foster child, or any of their descendants. As long as the child lives with you for more than half of the year, is under 19 years old at the end of the year or is under 24 years old and a full-time student during the year, they're a qualifying child in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service. This is important when you start deducting their expenses, too.

Luckily, you don't have to show that you provide more than half of the child's support, according to Intuit Turbo Tax, but the kid can't provide more than half of their own support. You and your spouse each get a $4,050 personal exemption for your child, but you can only deduct medical expenses that you pay for out pocket for that qualifying child. But, here's the tricky part, you can only claim those medical expenses if you itemize your deductions.

So, you can only claim medical expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI), according to Intuit Turbo Tax. So, for example, if you have an AGI of $100,000 and the medical bills are $7,000, you don't get to itemize them. If you have medical bills that you think you need to deduct, or any of this isn't making any sense at all, you can always find an accountant to talk you through the process and make sure you're not cheating yourself.

In the meantime, here are some medical expenses you can deduct, but definitely go through the IRS' booklet about medical expenses so you're not missing out on anything.

Here's What Counts As A Medical Claim

Anything to "diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent" a medical condition can be deducted, along with items needed for all that. So inhalers, blood pressure monitors, whatever you had to buy to take care of your sick kid can be deducted, whether it's a doctor's appointment, filling cavities, or even buying Braille books for a blind child, as the IRS notes.

According to H&R Block, "If you want to deduct medical expenses, they must alleviate or prevent a physical or mental defect or illness. You can’t deduct expenses that simply benefit general health, like vitamins or a vacation." That works, right?

Here's Who Can Provide These Services

The IRS is pretty lenient when it comes to qualifying medical practitioners. So primary care physicians, specialists such as eye doctors or physical therapists, are all qualifying providers. So are acupuncturists, chiropractors, psychologists, psychiatrists, podiatrists...really anyone who diagnoses or cures you.

You Can Also Deduct Travel

Remember, your can deduct 23 cents per mile for personal travel for medical reasons, as advises. You can also deduct your taxi, cab, train, or any other public transportation, too.

Here's What Doesn't Count As A Medical Claim

Anything cosmetic usually doesn't count, along with nursing services for a healthy child, or drugs that aren't FDA approved, according to the IRS. So if you have a night nurse and treat your kids autism with marijuana, you can't claim the expense. Is it fair? No. But them's the breaks.

Home Improvements Totally Count

If you have to modify your home, like widen doorways for a wheelchair or outfit the hardware on cabinets, to accommodate for a disabled child you can deduct those, according to the IRS. But only if they're "reasonable" and not just because you *want* to modify your home. It has to be medically related, and you'll more than likely have to provide proof as such.

As Do Medical Expenses You Pay For When Divorced

If your ex claims the kids as a dependent as the custodial parent, but you shelled out for a medical expense, you can still claim these, according to H&R Block.

Starting in 2018, however, the Trump administration's the tax overhaul — The "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" — repeals personal exemptions, which are currently valued at $4,050 per taxpayer, spouse, and dependent for this current 2017 tax season, as previously stated. But, as CNBC reported, "Families, especially those with multiple children and single-parent households, will keenly feel the loss of these exemptions" when filing their taxes next year, because while standard deductions have been raised, personal exemptions will disappear.

There will a number of changes to pay attention to and tax season is stressful. But at least some of those pricey medical expenses can come back to you this year.

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