If you paid for medical or dental expenses in 2012, you may be able to get a tax deduction for costs not covered by insurance. The IRS wants you to know these seven facts about claiming the medical and dental expense deduction.

  1. You must itemize. You can only claim medical and dental expenses for costs not covered by insurance if you itemize deductions on your tax return. You cannot claim medical and dental expenses if you take the standard deduction.
  2. Deduction is limited. You can deduct medical and dental expenses that are more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income.
  3. Expenses paid in 2012. You can include medical and dental costs that you paid in 2012, even if you received the services in a previous year. Keep good records to show the amount that you paid.
  4. Qualifying expenses. You may include most medical or dental costs that you paid for yourself, your spouse and your dependents. Some exceptions and special rules apply. Visit IRS.gov for more details.
  5. Costs to include. You can normally claim the costs of diagnosing, treating, easing or preventing disease. The costs of prescription drugs and insulin qualify. The cost of medical, dental and some long-term care insurance also qualify.
  6. Travel is included. You may be able to claim the cost of travel to obtain medical care. That includes the cost of public transportation or an ambulance as well as tolls and parking fees. If you use your car for medical travel, you can deduct the actual costs, including gas and oil. Instead of deducting the actual costs, you can deduct the standard mileage rate for medical travel, which is 23 cents per mile for 2012.
  7. No double benefit. Funds from Health Savings Accounts or Flexible Spending Arrangements used to pay for medical or dental costs are usually tax-free. Therefore, you cannot deduct expenses paid with funds from those plans.

You'll find more information in IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses. Also see Publication 969, Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans. They are available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Maximizing your deductions is easy with TaxACT. TaxACT Free Federal and Deluxe Editions include the required tax forms and step-by-step guidance for deducting medical and dental expenses. Start your return for free now.

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Upcoming Tax Dates

August 1 — Form 720 taxes
File Form 720 for the second quarter of 2016.

August 1 — Wagering tax
File Form 730 and pay the tax on wagers accepted during June.

August 1 — Heavy highway vehicle use tax
File Form 2290 and pay the tax for vehicles first used in June.

August 1 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
File Form 941 for the second quarter of 2016. Deposit or pay any undeposited tax under the accuracy of deposit rules.

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Deposit any undeposited tax if your tax liability is $2,500 or more for 2016 but less than $2,500 for the second quarter.

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Deposit the tax owed through June if more than $500.

August 1 — All employers
If you maintain an employee benefit plan, such as a pension, profitsharing, or stock bonus plan, file Form 5500 or 5500EZ for calendar year 2015. If you use a fiscal year as your plan year, file the form by the last day of the seventh month after the plan year ends.

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File Form 941 for the second quarter of 2016. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full.

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Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the first 15 days of July.

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If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in July.

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If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in July.

August 25 — Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method.
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the last 16 days of July.

August 29 — Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax for the first 15 days of August.

August 31 — Heavy highway vehicle use tax
File Form 2290 and pay the tax for vehicles first used in July.

August 31 — Wagering tax
File Form 730 and pay the tax on wagers accepted during July.

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