If you are pregnant, chances are that you visit your doctor and undergo various medical treatments more frequently. The cost of these visits and procedures can add up quickly, even if you have insurance that covers a portion of the bills. Any year you incur significant medical expenses that relate to your pregnancy, the IRS allows you to deduct a portion of the cost on your income taxes, but only if you are eligible to itemize deductions.
First trimester medical expenses
During your first trimester, most of your doctor visits relate to diagnosing your overall health rather than to receive treatment. Common diagnostics that your doctor will perform include assessing your medical history to determine any diseases or issues you may be prone to that can affect your pregnancy.
Most doctors will also have you undergo a general physical examination, monitor your weight and perform general blood tests and urine analysis. Even though these are considered diagnostic, the IRS allows you to deduct their costs since it can prevent a physical defect or illness for both you and your baby.
Second trimester medical expenses
As you move into the second trimester of your pregnancy, your doctor can begin assessing the health of your baby too. At this stage, many of your visits will include an ultrasound that helps to detect any health issues with your baby’s development.
You will likely undergo various tests to detect any potential birth defects such as serum screening and amniocentesis, both of which are effective at detecting Down syndrome. These expenses are also deductible even though they are preventative in nature and relate to your baby as well as yourself.
Third trimester medical expenses
The frequency and cost of your doctor visits will increase significantly during the third trimester of pregnancy up until you give birth to your newest family member. Generally, physicians require you to come in for an examination once per week to monitor your progress and ensure you and the baby remain healthy.
You may incur the largest medical expense when you actually go into labor since you have to pay for the hospital stay, any medications you are given, surgeries such as a cesarean section if necessary and even pain medication during labor such as an epidural. As you may expect, these are all legitimate medical expenses for which you can claim a deduction.
Claiming your pregnancy medical expenses
When it comes time to prepare your federal income tax return, you should gather all of your receipts for every doctor visit, hospital stay, medication purchase and even the health insurance premiums you pay. Total all of these items and subtract an amount equal to 10 percent of your adjusted gross income from it. Only what’s left is deductible as an itemized deduction.
There is a temporary exemption from Jan. 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2016 for individuals age 65 and older and their spouses. If you or your spouse are 65 years or older or turned 65 during the tax year you are allowed to deduct unreimbursed medical care expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. The threshold remains at 7.5% of AGI for those taxpayers until Dec. 31, 2016.
TurboTax can help you with determine how much, if any, of your medical expenses are deductible, and will fill in all the right forms to claim the deduction.