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Tax Deductible - Laser Eye Surgery and the IRS

The Internal Revenue Service, foreboding and inevitable as the grim reaper, has some good news for once. People who receive laser eye surgery can deduct it from their taxes. Grab yourself a 1040 form and start itemizing.

Medical services, such as dental work, a prosthetic leg, trips to the chiropractor and LASIK surgery, can all be deducted from your taxes. In fact, as long as treatment, prevention or cure of an ailment affects the “structure or function of the body,” it is deductible. Most prescription medicines are deductible as well. Insulin and comsetic surgery, however, are not tax deductible.

On top of that, the Internal Revenue Service will allow you to deduct travel expenses to and from the LASIK clinic. Even if you drive your own car to the LASIK surgeon's office, you are allowed to deduct your fuel expenses. You can also deduct bus fare. It may be hard to get a receipt from a bus driver, but you should try. Renting a limo might be taking things a little too far.

You can deduct in-hospital food and lodging. If you have to stay in the hospital for any length of time and are charged for that great hospital food and a night’s sleep in those sterile hospital beds, you can deduct those costs.

It is also allowable to deduct LASIK expenses for your spouse and children. Plus, you can even deduct the cost of accident, health and long-term care insurance.

This all sounds great, but before you load your spouse and children into a limousine for a weekend of LASIK surgery, know that there is a catch. There's always a catch with the Internal Revenue Service.

You can only deduct medical expenses which exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. That means if you make one hundred dollars a year and you buy a pair of eyeglasses for twelve dollars, you could only deduct four dollars and fifty cents from your taxes. A man who makes thirty thousand a year probably can’t deduct bus fare.

A family of four with a combined income of $100,000 a year could theoretically purchase four LASIK surgeries. Let’s say each surgery costs $2,500.They undergo the surgeries and the bill comes out to an even ten thousand. The parents will have to foot the bill for the first three but will be reimbursed for the fourth at tax time.

There is a plus side to the catch. Once that family spends the $7,500 on LASIK surgery, they can write off all other allowable medical expenses, including bus fare, crutches, eyeglasses and penicillin.

It is best to check with an accountant before making any decisions that involve spending large sums of money on elective surgery in hopes of writing it off at the end of the year. Tax law is a huge branch of law unto itself. There is a wide variety of taxation processes and each individual, family and business is unique and affected differently by these tax laws. Although most of this information can be easily found on the Internal Revenue Service website, it is best not to take chances when it comes to the taxman.

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