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Tax Bites: Start planning now if you’d like to deduct medical expenses

Medical expenses that aren’t reimbursable by insurance or paid through a tax-advantaged account (such as a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account) may be deductible — but only to the extent that they exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income.

Before 2013, the floor was only 7.5% for regular tax purposes. (Taxpayers age 65 and older can still enjoy that 7.5% floor through 2016. The floor for AMT purposes, however, is 10% for all taxpayers, the same as it was before 2013.)

By “bunching” nonurgent medical procedures and other controllable expenses into alternating years, you may increase your ability to exceed the new 10% floor. Controllable expenses might include prescription drugs, eyeglasses and contact lenses, hearing aids, dental work, and elective surgery.

If it’s looking like you’re close to exceeding the floor this year, consider accelerating controllable expenses into this year. But if you’re far from exceeding it, to the extent possible (without harming your health), you might want to put off medical expenses until next year, in case you have enough expenses in 2014 to exceed the floor.

Have questions about the 10% floor or exactly what expenses are deductible? Ask us!

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