You may be paying too much for your taxes! Are you taking all of the deductions that you can? The IRS also allows you to deduct medical miles on your taxes when it involves a medical situation. This can save you money that can be spent on other items — like bills or a nice dinner out. However, there are some stipulations.
How Does Medical Expense Deduction Work?
The Internal Revenue Service allows you to deduct the medical expenses that you incur in a single fiscal year if that amount is equal to a figure that’s higher than 10 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI). However, the allowed rate of dental and medical expenses that you can deduct falls to 7.5 percent of AGI if you or a husband or wife was born before January 2, 1951.
Medical Expenses Allowed
The IRS has a definition for “medical expenses” that qualify. They can be used when you are:
– Mitigating a disease
– Treating a disease
– Preventing a disease
– Diagnosing a disease
– Going through a treatment that affects functions or parts relating to your body
Focusing On Medical Miles
If your transportation costs focus primarily on the medical expenses that are allowed to be deducted by the IRS, you can deduct medical miles on your taxes. These medical miles include the following costs:
– The transportation cost incurred by a parent who is accompanying their child
– Costs relating to a plane, taxi, train, bus or ambulance service
– The transportation cost incurred by a person who is visiting someone who is diagnosed with a mental disease and their plan of treatment recommends these visits
– The transportation cost incurred by a nurse or individual who is treating a person being transported
– When picking up prescriptions
you are not able to deduct the cost of trips that relate to improving your health if they are not being supervised by a professional. As an example, you could deduct the cost of going to a physical therapy appointment but not deduct the cost of traveling to a gym for a workout.
Medical Mileage Deduction Allowed
If you do plan to deduct your medical mileage on your taxes, it’s important that you keep good records. The IRS will allow you to deduct $.17 (traveled during 2017) for every 1 mile that you travel when it is related to an allowed medical expense.
Calculating Your Medical Mileage Deduction
The IRS allows you to use one of two methods when you are calculating the medical mileage deduction on your taxes — you can include tolls and parking fees for both of these methods. They include the following:
– The actual expense method
– The standard mileage rate
If you use the actual expense method, you can deduct the cost of oil and gas. As an example, if you drove 2500 miles and spent $300 for gas and $40 for oil, your expense would be $340. Now, add the cost of tolls and parking. Let’s say that’s $100. So, your total expenditure using this method would be $440 ($300+$40+$100 = $440).
If you use the standard mileage rate method, take your total mileage figure of 2500 miles and multiply that by 0.17, which gives you a total of $425 (2500*0.17 = $425). Since you can include your tolls and parking expense to this figure, you would be able to deduct $525 ($405+$100 = $525). If you use this option for your taxes, you could claim a larger deduction.
Claiming A Deduction And Logging Medical Mileage
To claim your medical mileage expense, you will use Schedule A and attach it to your Form 1040. If you are amending your tax return from a previous year, you should use Form 1040X.
It’s important that you keep an accurate log of the miles that you claim. It should include a record of the following:
– Miles Traveled
– Date traveled
– Places you travel to
– Medical purpose
While you don’t need to include a log when you submit your taxes, if you ever get audited, you will need to have documentation to prove that you traveled those miles. Without proof, your deduction may be denied and you could face paying penalties.
Jim Treebold is a North Carolina based writer. He lives by the mantra of “Learn 1 new thing each day”! Jim loves to write, read, pedal around on his electric bike and dream of big things. Drop him a line if you like his writing, he loves hearing from his readers!