Are Medical Alert Systems Tax Deductible?

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March 9, 2016

 

As a savvy consumer, you probably like to do your homework before making a new purchase—whether it’s a car, a washing machine, or a medical alert system. You may have already discovered through your research that medical alert systems are not covered by Medicaid or Medicare, but you may still be wondering, “Are medical alert systems tax deductible?”

The answer is maybe.

Interpreting The Rules

Senior couple looking over tax deductions for medical alert systems.

As of today, the IRS does not implicitly state that medical alert devices are eligible for itemized tax deductions. They do, however, allow for various medical expenses to be deducted.

For example, the IRS will allow you to deduct the cost of installing special equipment or making improvements to your home for medical reasons. These improvements are typically more in line with a home renovation and can include widening doorways, modifying a bathroom, or upgrading with special kitchen equipment.

Also listed in this medical expenses section is a deduction for Medical Information Plans, which, according to the IRS, includes medical expenses “paid to a plan that keeps medical information in a computer data bank and retrieves and furnishes the information upon request to an attending physician.” This section can be used to deduct your medical alert system expenses.

Bay Alarm Medical emergency operators are able to store your medical profile in a computer database that allows them to provide EMTs and other emergency providers with the proper information needed in order to perform medical procedures. Therefore, this service can be deducted on your IRS form.

How To Get The Deductions

Calculating tax refund with medical expenses.

 

Once you figure out whether or not you qualify for tax deductions, it’s important to understand how to present them to the IRS in order to maximize their effect. First, in order for the IRS to recognize the deductions, they actually have to be itemized, which apparently, many taxpayers do not do.

Second, the tax break is determined by the percentage of your overall unreimbursed medical expenses. They must exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, which is your gross income minus specific allowances for personal deductions and itemized deductions. Once those expenses exceed 7.5%, deduct away!

Before you ask the IRS if medical alert devices are tax deductible, you might want to consult an accountant to help you figure out your adjusted gross income. They can also help you to see if you qualify for other potential deductions such as orthopedic shoes, the cost of transportation to and from medical care, and even hearing aids. For a full list of deductions that the IRS will accept, visit: https://www.irs.gov/publications/p502/ar02.html#en_US_2015_publink1000179021

 

 


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