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Tax Deduction And Your Weight Loss Plan

Tax Deduction And Your Weight Loss Plan

The 3 Week DietAs of April 2002, the Internal Revenue Service recognized some weight loss expenses as tax deductible under medical expenses. Dieting can be expensive, especially if you join a weight loss program or purchase special foods.

According to that ruling “Uncompensated amounts paid by individuals for participation in a weight-loss program as treatment for a specific disease or diseases (including obesity) diagnosed by a physician are expenses for medical care that are deductible under § 213, subject to the limitations of that section.” (IRS Ruling, April 2, 2002)

What does this mean to the average taxpayer? It means that the cost of weight loss program recommended by your physician for the treatment of obesity, or conditions related to obesity MAY be able to be counted as a tax deduction.

Who can deduct weight loss programs on their taxes?

In order to deduct the cost of your weight loss program under the 2002 ruling, you must itemize deductions on your taxes. You can deduct the costs of weight loss treatment IF they are not reimbursed. In addition, you can only deduct expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross annual income.

Can I have a deduction on my weight loss program if I’m not medically obese?

You may be able to deduct expenses even if you’re not diagnosed as medically obese. If your doctor has recommended weight loss as a treatment for weight-related diseases such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol or heart disease, you might be eligible.

What kinds of weight loss expenses are can be a tax deduction?

You can deduct doctor-recommended treatments that are specific to weight loss and maintenance. Those include, but aren’t necessarily limited to: bariatric surgery (stomach stapling or gastric bypass), FDA approved weight loss drugs, hospital based programs, nutritionists, dieticians, behavioral modification programs, exercise programs and even some commercial weight loss programs like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig.

What can’t I deduct from my taxes?

tax deductions weight lossNot allowed are: health club dues, nutritional supplements, over the counter appetite suppressants, low fat foods, and exercise equipment.
Liposuction is also not included as it is regarded as cosmetic surgery.

Can I still deduct the expenses if I didn’t lose weight?

Yes. You don’t need to show an improvement in your condition in order to deduct the costs.

So you may be able to get a tax deduction on your weight loss plan. You must be sure to check with an accountant, as the laws are always changing.