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Publication 17

Chapter 21
Medical and Dental Expenses(p145)

What's New(p145)

At the time this publication went to print, Congress was considering legislation that would do the following.
  1. Provide additional tax relief for those affected by Hurricane Harvey, Irma, or Maria, and tax relief for those affected by other 2017 disasters, such as the California wildfires.
  2. Extend certain tax benefits that expired at the end of 2016 and that currently can’t be claimed on your 2017 tax return.
  3. Change certain other tax provisions.
To learn whether this legislation was enacted resulting in changes that affect your 2017 tax return, go to Recent Developments at
Medical and dental expenses.(p145)
Beginning January 1, 2017, you can deduct only the part of your medical and dental expenses that exceeds 10% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). The 7.5% rate available for certain taxpayers has expired, however, at the time this publication went to print, Congress was considering legislation that would extend the 7.5% rate. To see if this legislation was enacted, go to Recent Developments at
Standard mileage rate.(p145)
The standard mileage rate allowed for operating expenses for a car when you use it for medical reasons is 17 cents per mile. See Transportation under What Medical Expenses Are Includible.
This chapter will help you determine the following.


Useful items

You may want to see:

 502  Medical and Dental Expenses
 969  Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans
Form (and Instructions)
 1040: U.S. Individual Tax Return
 Schedule A (Form 1040) : Itemized Deductions
 8885: Health Coverage Tax Credit
 8962: Premium Tax Credit (PTC)

What Are Medical Expenses?(p145)

Medical expenses are the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body. These expenses include payments for legal medical services rendered by physicians, surgeons, dentists, and other medical practitioners. They include the costs of equipment, supplies, and diagnostic devices needed for these purposes.
Medical care expenses must be primarily to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental disability or illness. They don't include expenses that are merely beneficial to general health, such as vitamins or a vacation.
Medical expenses include the premiums you pay for insurance that covers the expenses of medical care, and the amounts you pay for transportation to get medical care. Medical expenses also include amounts paid for qualified long-term care services and limited amounts paid for any qualified long-term care insurance contract.