Are Dental Bills Tax Deductible?

by Akeia Dixon, Demand Media
    Tax benefits are available for dental costs.

    Tax benefits are available for dental costs.

    If you have had an extensive amount of dental work done this year, you already know that the cost of going to the dentist can be extremely high. Aside from the improvement of your dental health, you may wonder what other benefits you can reap from your costly experience. You can benefit from dental bills by applying them to your taxes, but this depends on several factors.

    Allowances

    Dental costs that can be deducted on your tax return include expenses that are for the prevention or treatment of physical or mental illnesses or defects. The dental expenses that are deductible include any fee that is paid to your dentist or doctor in relation to a dental issue for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of your dental needs, including false teeth. Prescription drugs are also an expense that can be itemized on your tax return as a deduction as long as they are prescribed for dental-related reasons. Additionally, transportation costs can be deducted if they are related to your need of transportation to the dental facility to have a procedure done. If you use your own car, you can use the standard mileage calculation to add to your list of deductions along with any toll and parking fees you incurred.

    Exclusions

    Although prescription drugs are allowed to be deducted as a part of your dental costs, non-prescription items cannot be deducted. This includes any over-the-counter pain medication, toothpaste or other dental essentials.

    Limits

    Your dental costs are paired with any medical expenses you plan to itemize on your tax return. You can only deduct the amount of your combined medical expenses for the current year that exceeds 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income for the year. You must also take into account the amount of money you were reimbursed throughout the year and whether it was sent directly to the dental facility or directly to you; you cannot deduct for reimbursements. Finally, the dental work that you have done cannot be considered a cosmetic procedure; it must be a necessary medical procedure.

    Dependents

    You may add the cost of dental work for your spouse and dependents on your tax return; this includes any dependent that you have claimed under a multiple support agreement. If someone has not met the joint return or gross income test, you may deduct these expenses if this person is qualified as your dependent.

    About the Author

    Akeia Dixon is a freelance writer who began her professional writing career in 2009 for various websites. She enjoys writing about natural health topics but also loves to research and write about her findings on any subject. She is currently in school studying psychology and sociology.

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