Obesity is one of the most common diseases in the US. This was evident when CDC revealed that the US obesity prevalence was 41.9% between 2017 and 2020. This data is alarming mainly because obesity is related to other health risks, such as heart disease, strokes, and type 2 diabetes, which are all the leading causes of preventable and premature death in the country. Apart from being a serious and potentially fatal disease, obesity can incur massive medical expenses. The same report explained that the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the US was nearly $173 billion in 2019. In addition, medical costs for adults with obesity were $1,861 higher than the medical costs for people with a healthy weight.
If you want to prevent obesity, especially if you’re having difficulties losing weight, you might consider getting weight-loss surgery. However, costs can make people think twice about getting the surgery. Today, we’re examining how weight-loss surgery can impact tax deductions.
Is Weight-Loss Surgery Tax Deductible?
According to the IRS, payments for weight-loss programs for a specific disease diagnosed by a physician, including obesity, hypertension, or heart disease, are included in the deductible medical expenses in the US. This means the amount of your weight-loss surgery and treatment costs not compensated by insurance can be claimed as a medical deduction in your tax returns. So if you’re hesitating in getting bariatric surgery because of the healthcare costs, rest assured that the national government can help you pay for those expenses.
However, it’s important to remember that there are limitations to the weight-loss program covered by the agency. The surgery is only tax deductible if it’s non-elective, meaning it’s an urgent medical intervention. It also doesn’t include payments for diet food items or reimbursements to health clubs such as gyms or spas. The agency will only cover the cost of food in medical expenses only if the food alleviates or treats an illness and is substantiated by a physician.
How To Qualify For Medical Tax Deduction?
To qualify for the medical tax deduction, you must satisfy the necessary criteria set by the IRS. One of the most important requirements is that the cost of medical care should be more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). For instance, if your income is $60,000, your bariatric surgery expenses should be more than $4,500, which is 7.5% of $60,000, to qualify for a tax deduction. Remember that medical tax deductibles can also vary depending on your state. In Ohio, the AGI threshold is at 7.5%, but states like Virginia have a higher 10% threshold. Besides calculating your AGI and verifying that the expenses exceed the threshold, you might also need a letter from your surgeon confirming that your procedure is a medical necessity. This will prove that your weight-loss surgery is legitimate and eligible for a tax deduction.
Financial and tax terms can be overwhelming, especially if you’re preparing for surgery. In this case, you can consult with a reliable professional to help you understand the nuances of government laws and regulations. In Maryville University’s accounting information session, Kyle Brown explained that it’s best to get a professional to prepare and examine your taxes to ensure that you’re fully aware of how to maximize your medical tax deductions. Moreover, meeting with a professional enables you to become financially literate when it comes to handling your taxes in the future, whether they are for medical or other purposes.
Because bariatric surgery is costly, using available financial resources helps reduce the expenses you have to pay from your own pockets. It’s also necessary to research the procedure, as discussed in our previous post on ‘3 Most Popular Questions About Weight-Loss Surgery’, to familiarize yourself with this treatment.
Visit us at TreVita to learn which weight-loss procedure is appropriate for you.
Article written by Ricci Janet
Exclusively submitted to trevita.com