Medical and Dental Expenses

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act returns the deductible amount of out-of-pocket medical expenses up to amounts exceeding 7.5% of adjusted gross income. This change is in effect for tax years 2017 through 2020.

Insurance premiums paid with after-tax dollars and unreimbursed medical expenses can be entered on federal Schedule A Itemized Deductions, Line 1 or in the itemized deduction section of the TaxAct program.

When you enter unreimbursed medical expenses and after-tax premiums in the program, TaxAct will automatically calculate the amount deductible.

Go to IRS Publication 502 Medical and Dental Expenses (Including the Health Coverage Tax Credit) to review what medical expenses are allowable on IRS Schedule A.

Make sure to enter medical expenses in the correct year:

Include medical expenses paid by cash or check in the year in which you paid the expenses, not the year when the services were provided (if the two are different). If you used a credit card to pay expenses, include the medical expenses in the year the charges were made, not the year you paid the credit card company (if the two are different).

To enter your medical and dental expenses in TaxAct:

  1. From within your TaxAct return (Online or Desktop), click Federal. On smaller devices, click in the upper left-hand corner, then click Federal.
  2. Click Itemized or Standard Deductions in the Federal Quick Q&A Topics menu to expand, then click Medical and dental expenses.
  3. Continue with the interview process to enter all of the appropriate information.

Figuring out total itemized deductions versus standard deduction:

The total of your itemized deductions is calculated on Schedule A, Line 17. The TaxAct program will use the higher of your itemized deductions or the standard deduction for your filing status to maximize the tax benefit to you.

The standard deduction for each filing status is listed on the left side of IRS Form 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return within the tax and credits section of the return.

Standard Deduction for—

  • Single or Married filing separately, $12,400
  • Married filing jointly or Qualifying widow(er), $24,800
  • Head of household, $18,650
  • If you checked any box under Standard Deduction, see instructions

Note that any link in the information above is updated each year automatically and will take you to the most recent version of the document at the time it is accessed.