It’s that time of year again! April 18th is right around the corner which means taxes are due. Originally, when the 16th amendment was passed, creating the obligation of income tax, the deadline was February 3rd, 1913. However, as times have changed, the deadline was pushed to April 15th to give the IRS more time to process filings. When tax day falls on a weekend, it is moved to the next business day, but this year, Monday April 17th happens to be Emancipation Day. Legally, tax day cannot be a holiday either, so we all get an extra 3 days to file this year! For hearing aid wearers, this time of year can be especially important due to potential tax free medical fillings or tax breaks.
Tax Free Medical Expenses
If you complete a Form 1040, Schedule A, you may be familiar with the idea of itemized deductions for medical or dental expenses paid for you or your dependents. Deductions can only be made for total medical expenses that exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income. This percentage goes down to 7.5% for individuals who were older than 65 between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2016. Unfortunately, you cannot make any medical expense deductions if you did not pay more than that percentage, regardless of how much you spent. For example, if your gross income is $100,000, you can deduct any medical expense that exceeds $10,000. However, if you only spent $9,999 on medical expenses, you cannot deduct anything.
Tax Free Deductions
So what exactly counts as deductible medical expenses? Included are visits to your doctor (or audiologist), payment for a medical conference you may have attended pertaining to a chronic disease you have (ex. conference on tinnitus research), transportation costs for medical care, and your actual hearing aids. You will most likely need to provide evidence of these expenses, so keep all receipts just in case. While all of this is dependent on your health care coverage, annual income, and tax bracket, be sure to check the fine print for any deductions you may be eligible for concerning your medical expenses!
Deducting Hearing Aids
If you do not fall in the group that hits the 10% threshold, there is still a chance you can have tax free hearing aids, or even deduct the entire cost of your hearing aids! You can utilize a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA). With both of these options, there is no limit or threshold for deductions, though you do need to have a high deductible with your health insurance plan. If all of this is too confusing for you, the IRS has free tax help available online, by phone, or in person.
Hearing aids and other medical expenses can really add up, particularly if you are retired or living on a budget. Though filing taxes may not be the most fun activity, if completed properly, you could have free hearing aids!