If you are dealing with weight issues and are trying to take steps to get in shape, are the costs related to doing so tax-deductible?
The answer to that question is maybe. Let’s take a look at what makes the cost of weight loss deductible and when there may be exceptions to those rules.
How Much Is Coming Out Of Your Pocket Each Year?
The IRS allows you to deduct any medical or health care expenses that will not be reimbursed as long as those costs are more than 7.5 percent of your AGI.
In other words, if you made $10,000 last year, you could deduct the costs of your weight loss expenses if you paid more $750 in the previous tax year. Keep in mind that you can only deduct amounts over the 7.5 percent threshold. Therefore, anyone making $10,000 in a given year could only deduct the amount over $750 and that is only if they itemize.
Did A Doctor Diagnose You As Obese?
Obesity is recognized by the IRS as a legitimate health problem. If you are diagnosed as obese, you can then deduct your health care costs related to treating your obesity. This can include anything from getting gastric bypass surgery, the cost of a gym membership or medications that you may be prescribed to help with you lose weight.
Are Your Health Issues Related To Obesity?
Anyone who has hypertension, high blood pressure or other health issues that are caused by their obesity can deduct the costs of treating those illnesses on their taxes. In other words, if your high blood pressure was caused by obesity, you can deduct the cost of your blood pressure medication or the cost of a personal trainer.
The key is to get diagnosed by a doctor before you start any sort of health care regimen if you want those costs to be eligible for a tax deduction.
What If I Just Want To Lose Weight To Look And Feel My Best?
Losing weight and getting into shape can be a good idea for anyone who wants to improve their health. However, there is a difference between losing a few pounds because you want to and losing a few pounds because you have to. Generally, you are considered obese if you are more than 20-30 pounds overweight.
Anything under that suggests that you are slightly to moderately overweight. Even if a doctor suggests that you go to the gym and shed a few pounds, that does not qualify you for a deduction on your income taxes.
Knowing when you can and cannot deduct the costs related to weight loss can be confusing. However, you are generally able to make a deduction if a doctor diagnoses you with a legitimate health condition due to your weight and your out-of-pocket expenses are more than 7.5 percent of your AGI.
Otherwise, you are going to have to classify those costs as personal costs that are not deductible on your tax return.
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Stephen Bourn has been working at Bariatrx company for ten years now. On the weekends, he enjoys spending his time in the gym and blogging about health and fitness.