Tax Tips: Dependents & Health Care

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You can deduct unreimbursed medical expenses paid during the year for yourself, your spouse and any of your dependents.

For purposes of deducting medical expenses, a dependent is your qualified child or a qualified relative who is a U.S. citizen or national or a resident of the U.S., Canada or Mexico. The “marital status” test for a qualifying child and the “gross income” test for a qualifying relative do not apply for purposes of deducting medical expenses.

You can deduct amounts paid for:

  • A person who otherwise qualifies as your dependent but cannot be claimed as one because his/her income exceeds the $3,650 income limitation or because that person filed a joint return.
  • Someone who was your dependent in the year the expenses were incurred but not in the year the expenses were actually paid.

The non-custodial divorced or separated parent of a child who cannot claim the child as a dependent can claim a deduction for any medical expenses, including health insurance premiums, which he/she has paid for the child. For purposes of the medical expense deduction, the child is considered to be the dependent of both parents.

If you are considered to have provided more than half of a qualifying relative's support under a multiple support agreement, used when two or more people together provide more than half of a person's support, you can deduct the medical expenses you have paid for that person.

New Jersey tax pro Robert D. Flach has been preparing 1040s for individuals since 1972.

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