For many, there is always a New Year’s resolution that makes it to the list: getting fit and eating healthier. Whether we pig out on specific days or want to eat better overall, starting that journey and staying healthy is easier said than done. Time, money, and commitment are extremely important factors in being truly successful if you want to lose weight and keep it off.
There is a way of claiming medical and health expenses as long as you itemize your deductions with a 1040 form, at Schedule A. Only 30% of taxpayers that advantage of it. You can only deduct the amount of your total medical charges that exceed a tenth of your AGI, adjusted growth income, or 7.5% should you are your spouse be sixty-five years of age and up.
Let’s say your total medical expenses are five grand in a calendar year. If your AGI is valued at twenty grand, you have the ability take off three grand — expenses totaling $5,000 less $2,000, which is a tenth of $20,000. If your AGI exceeds fifty grand, the deduction will get capped — $5,000 of expenses less a tenth of $50,000.
If you are curious to know your total medical costs, remember to have the diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, prevention, or cure. Or you can add payments for treatments that affect a particular function in your body. It may seem like a general thing, but tax laws are strict with what the things they permit, even more so when it involves losing weight.
The key would be to get a specific diagnosis, and the doctor has to order you to complete a program. If you or a loved one goes to a hospital and you hear them say the best thing you can do for your health is to drop a couple of pounds, it may not be enough. However, if you are obese, it could qualify. Still, you would need to have valid proof you received this diagnosis from a doctor and submit proof that certain expenses were a result of what was ordered as treatment.
Some exemptions may not count as a deductible regardless of whether or not a physician ordered it.
- Weight Loss Surgery
- This only counts if it’s a necessary treatment for a certain complication. This type of surgery has cosmetic components to it, so it can be viewed as controversial. If you get this done, you should have a lot of documentation as proof it was recommended by a medical professional. The same rules apply to follow-ups.
- Gym Memberships and Clubs
- Even though there is no way to deduct what you paid for the memberships and clubs themselves, you can include separate activity charges. For example, those with water aerobics could earn a deductible if ordered by a doctor.
- Foods and Beverages
- There are no deductions for foods and drinks even if a physician were to instruct you to alter your diet. Following a low-fat, low-sugar, low-sodium diet will not change anything for you. This includes foods you purchase for yourself or order from a program such as Weight Watchers. But you possibly can get a deductible off foods that a doctor orders for certain diseases like Celiac disease.
- Sports Equipment
- What if you went out of your way to get new running shoes, weights, and a yoga mat? No deductible will be possible here, but if you had to buy certain equipment prescribed by a doctor like a knee brace, it could be.
Now that you know what may not work, here are a few tips you can do that will work to your advantage:
- Eating at the Workplace
- Meals and beverages you can get at the job are often tax-free in the event the addition is convenient for your employer. Go for all the healthy options and water. The same thing goes for those who work in a place with an exercise facility (like a gym or pool area) that is leased or owned by your company. Also, be sure to make complete use of any wellness discounts, if applicable. It can be programs that help to quit smoking, eat nutritious foods, and even gym memberships. If a health club membership is offered at your job, it is taxable. Your job may either pay a portion of the cost or reimburse you if you paid out of pocket.
- Create an HSA
- In the event your employer does not provide you an FSA or HRA, you have the option to start an HSA, a health savings account. However, you must have a high-deductible health plan to join. Nonetheless, if you do qualify for it, you will be able to contribute a max of $3,350, or $6,750 for families, for next year. It will also apply for any qualified medical expenses.
- Run for Charities
- You may not be able to deduct any entrance charges, but most people are not aware that you can, with any additional funds you donate to a qualifying charity. Many races partner with a fundraising organization. You may find that registering for the race will not only be great motivation to start exercising, but you will feel happy knowing you took part of a positive cause.