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What to Know About Writing Off Dental Procedures on Tax Returns

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Number of people who look forward to doing their taxes? Not many. Number of people who want to help you maximize your tax return? Everyone at Amber Hills Dental! Preparing and filing your taxes can be a lengthy process, especially if you have a family, so we're here to to help make the process a little easier. If you're itemizing your deductions instead of taking the standard deduction, read on to learn about the Internal Revenue Service's rules for writing off your dental expenses. If you qualify, you may actually look forward to doing your taxes this year.

Guidelines When Deducting Dental Expenses

What Qualifies?

According to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, you are able to deduct medical and dental expenses for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents. This includes any out-of-pocket fees to doctors, dentists, and other medical professionals that are not covered by health insurance. That means travel to-and-from appointments, routine dental cleanings, dental-related prescription medication, braces, dentures, cavity fillings, dental surgery, and other medically necessary procedures. However, the following dental-related items are not eligible for deduction: over-the-counter medicines, toothpaste, mouthwash and other toiletries, or elective cosmetic procedures like veneers and teeth whitening.

How Much?

For 2017 and 2018, you are only able to deduct the amount of your total unreimbursed medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. (Beginning January 1, 2019, this gets bumped up to 10% of your AGI.) Your adjusted gross income is your income after adjusting for above-the-line deductions like qualified tuition and fees, student loan interest, and child support payments. You can use the following steps to calculate your dental expense deduction:

  1. Calculate your adjusted gross income.
  2. Multiply your adjusted gross income by 0.075. Your total must exceed this amount to be deductible.
  3. Add all your dental (and other medical) expenses for the year.
  4. Subtract your expenses from the product of your adjusted gross income x 0.075 to find your actual deduction.

Keep In Mind...

  • You can only include the medical expenses you paid during this past year.
  • Each expense can only be counted once.
  • You must reduce your total deductible medical/dental expenses for the year by any reimbursement. Whether you received the reimbursement directly or it is paid on your behalf by your insurance to your dentist (or other medical professional), this remains the case.

Come Visit Us!

Even if you can't deduct your dental expenses from your taxes, don't let it keep you down in the dumps. A beautiful and healthy smile can do wonders for your spirits. Contact us to schedule your next routine cleaning and checkup. We look forward to seeing you.