Question

My health insurance premiums are withheld from my paycheck before taxes are paid. If I itemize my tax return, can I deduct pre-tax premiums as medical expenses?

Answer

No, you are not allowed to deduct pre-tax premiums for health insurance on your tax return. You are already receiving the tax benefit by paying the premiums with your pre-taxed earnings. You can only deduct the medical expenses paid for with after-tax earnings.

Medical insurance premiums are deducted from your pre-tax pay. This means that you are paying for your medical insurance before any of the federal, state, and other taxes are deducted. After-tax medical expenses can be deducted if you itemize your tax return, however you can only deduct the amount of your total medical expenses that exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income. To itemize your medical expenses you will need to complete Form 1040, Schedule A: Itemized Deductions.

According to the IRS, medical care expenses include payments for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or payments for treatments affecting any structure or function of the body.

For more information on qualified medical expenses, visit Topic 502: Medical and Dental Expenses at https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc502.html.

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