Sigma Tax Pro explains what tax preparers need to know about IRS guidelines on medical and dental expenses
RECENT CHANGES TO IRS GUIDELINES ON MEDICAL AND DENTAL EXPENSES CAN HAVE SERIOUS IMPLICATIONS FOR TAX PREPARERS AND THEIR CLIENTS
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Many taxpayers are unaware of the complex nature of claiming medical and dental expenses on their tax return. The 2014 tax season has seen the advent of many new regulations and it essential that all professional tax preparers are aware of the new guidelines and their implications for their clients. The commonly held assumption by taxpayers that all medical and dental expenses are deductible is certainly not accurate but even seasoned tax professionals may not be aware of some of the recent changes.
The first and perhaps most important change is that medical and dental expenses must exceed 10 percent of AGI before they can be claimed as a deduction. However this is an exception which states that taxpayers over 65 years of age may continue to use the previous threshold of 7.5 percent. Furthermore these expenses can only be claimed if itemized and cannot be claimed if the taxpayer has already claimed the standard deduction. The IRS also mandates that claimed expenses must have been paid in 2013 and must have been paid for the taxpayer, their spouse or their dependents. Only certain expenses are eligible and for guidance IRS Publication 502 should be consulted.
Finally while travel expenses incurred while traveling to receive medical care are eligible double deductions are not.Finally, perhaps the most obvious regulation relates to claiming medical and dental expenses paid from tax free accounts, this is referred to as double benefit. Such accounts include Health Savings Accounts or Flexible Spending Arrangements, any expenses paid from these accounts are not eligible for deductions. In summary it is essential that tax professionals make their clients aware of the new guidelines to ensure they receive the maximum refund with minimum stress.
Sigma Tax Pro provides a full range of essential services for tax professionals.This includes industry leading software solutions as well as technical support, tax preparation support and client retention strategies. The Audit Assistance program is offered to new and existing clients and can provide them with peace of mind in the event their clients are audited by the IRS.