a photo of 1049 and money

We’re getting closer to the end of the year. For many, that means a bulging shoe box of receipts to write off as tax deductions. It can be tempting when scrutinizing an especially large receipt to put it in the tax deduction box. But is it really an approved tax deduction? 

I’ve noticed that taxpayers have gotten particularly creative in their justification for a purchase being tax deductible. Aside from the usual medical deductions ranging from the cost of replacement batteries for hearing aids to home improvements to make home accessible for someone with a disability, there are dozens of lesser known deductions. Below are a few and their stipulations:

Animals

Care for service animals – a necessity of daily life for persons living with a disability – is an approved tax deduction. Here the Internal Revenue Service allows deductions for the costs of buying, training and maintaining the animal. You can also deduct expenses for food, grooming and veterinary care.

The justification gets muddled when we start talking about emotional support animals. To be clear, I am not suggesting that an emotional support animal is not a necessity to someone struggling with depression, anxiety or any of a host of other medical conditions that the animal can help soothe. However, the IRS does not recognize therapy animals as certified service animals. 

Wigs

Getting a new wig is generally not deductible. It is deductible though if 1) you’re in the market for a new wig because of hair loss; 2) your hair loss is causing you anxiety; and 3) you have a psychiatrist’s prescription for a new wig as part of your treatment plan. Depending on your line of work, as small subset of people also may be able to deduct it as part of required costume purchases. 

Gluten-free Foods 

This tax deduction is not for the trendy dieters: it’s for the medically necessary diet adjustments, as prescribed by a physician. Celiac disease and other gluten sensitivities require diet substitutions that are more costly than their traditional forms. To offset the dietary requirements of these dietary needs, patients are able to deduct ONLY the difference in cost from the gluten-free item vs. the traditional foodstuffs. This means if a traditional loaf of wheat bread is $2 and the gluten-free version of bread is $3.50, you only get to add $1.50 to your list of tax deductions. 

Others

There are tons of other lesser-known deductions that individuals can add to their regular tax deductions, and they change every year. Unsure if you can add a particular expense to your list of deductions? Call our office at 724-216-5180 to find out! 

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