Can I Claim My Child's Medical Expenses if He Is a Dependent on My Federal Tax Return When He Is 19?

Including medical expenses in your itemized deductions can lower your taxes.

Including medical expenses in your itemized deductions can lower your taxes.

A qualifying child for federal income tax purposes is a child who is younger than age 19 on the last day of the tax year, or between the ages of 19 and 24 and a full-time student. As long as your 19-year-old meets this requirement, doesn't provide more than half of his own support and lives with you for more than six months out of the year, you can claim his medical expenses on your taxes.

Dependent's Medical Expenses

If you claim your 19-year-old child as a dependent, you can include unreimbursed medical expenses you pay for him when you itemize deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A. Under U.S. tax law, to count a dependent’s medical expenses in with your medical expense deduction, he must be your dependent either at the time he receives medical services or when you pay his medical bills. Another requirement is he can't file a joint tax return except to get a refund.

Allowable Medical Expenses

When itemizing deductions, you can only include medical and dental expenses you pay for yourself or a dependent during the tax year. It doesn’t matter when the services were provided. You can include payments you make to a doctor, surgeon, dentist or other medical practitioner. Medical expenses typically cover the costs for diagnosing, treating and preventing disease. Premiums you pay for medical insurance also qualify as an allowable medical expense. If you charge the medical expenses to a credit card, figure the expenses in the year you charge them and not when you pay the credit card bills, says H&R Block.

Allowable Amount You Can Deduct

According to federal tax law, beginning with the tax year 2013 you can deduct the amount of medical and dental expenses that exceed more than 10 percent of your adjusted gross income. AGI includes earned income minus adjustments for health savings accounts, moving expenses, alimony paid, student loan interest and other adjustments to income. You must deduct from your total deductible medical expenses for the year the amount you are reimbursed for any medical expenses you pay.

Medical Expense Records

If you itemize deductions, keep records of all medical and dental expenses you report on your tax return whether for yourself or a dependent. Payment records should show the name and address of the medical provider in addition to the date and how much you pay. Any billing statements or itemized invoices you keep as proof of medical expenses should include the name of the patient, a description of the medical care received and the reason for the medical services.


About the Author

Amber Keefer has more than 25 years of experience working in the fields of human services and health care administration. Writing professionally since 1997, she has written articles covering business and finance, health, fitness, parenting and senior living issues for both print and online publications. Keefer holds a B.A. from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in health care management from Baker College.

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