Why does my accountant have to know about my health?

Why does my accountant have to know about my health?

Because of the new tax bill, many people won’t bother with tax write-offs any more.  That’s because the new tax law doubled the standard write-off amount.  Which means that you can deduct $12,000 from your income for tax purposes even if you didn’t have any write-offs at all.

But if you had write-offs of more than $12,000, then it could make good sense to itemize your write-offs.  For some people, one of the biggest write-offs is medical expenses.  If you have really high medical expenses during the year, then Medicare premiums can be a write-off.  So can the nursing home bill.  Assisted living expenses can also be written-off if you are “chronically ill” and “personal care services are provided according to a plan of care prescribed by a licensed health care provider.”

Even some legal fees can be considered a medical expense that you can write off.  A mentally ill woman in Michigan thought she was just fine and refused to go to the hospital.  Her husband had to hire a lawyer to get his wife committed to a psychiatric facility.  The legal fees were a “medical expense” that he could write off.

The rules can be pretty complicated, but here’s the bottom line: tell your accountant or tax preparer about all your medical expenses.  They might help lower your tax bill, which could be a great benefit if you are over seventy and a half and have to take required minimum distributions from your IRA or 401(k) retirement account.

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