Are Hearing Aids Tax Deductible?

Financial expense is a frequently stated obstacle to pursuing hearing aids. But did you know that the IRS has listed hearing aids and their batteries among the medical devices eligible for a tax-deduction?

This means if you have you bought hearing aids or paid for other significant medical expenses within your immediate family in the past year, you may claim so on your 2018 tax return. You must itemize your medical costs, but you stand to save if within the next two years you spend more than 7.5% of your income on medical costs.

Deductions are also available for those who donate an old hearing aid to charities such as Lion’s Club’s HARP Program (the rate of saving is relatable to the value of the device donated). But you can’t put a price on the good feeling you get from helping someone less fortunate being able to hear.

So What Can You Deduct?

The Interactive Tax Assistant and this IRS list of what you can claim can help you determine what can be deducted and what cannot. We also recommend that you speak to a tax advisor or accountant if it is your first time claiming medical expenses. Here are some examples of what you could potentially claim:

  • Hearing aids, batteries, maintenance costs and repairs.
  • A guide dog and food, grooming and veterinary expenses.
  • Audiology exams, insurance payments and medical conferences.
  • Approved health-related purchases, such as eyeglasses and prescriptions.
  • If you’re employed and have hearing loss, items that help you more effectively do  your job may also be deductible. I.e. listening devices or a customized computer.
  • Home adaptations such as special smoke detectors, doorbells or burglar alarms.
  • Phone equipment such as special ringers, captioned phones and teleprinters.
  • Televisions or accessories that amplify sound, provide closed captions.
  • Repairs to special equipment.

You may not claim:

  • Any medical insurance coverage provided by your employer.
  • If you’ve purchased hearing aids for a member of your household, you may only claim these on your tax returns if that individual is your dependant.

If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA), deduction rates differ. Your tax advisor will be able to help determine which deduction rates you should be applying.

If you have already filed a claim, start keeping receipts and an itemized list of expenses ready for next year. Speak to a specialist if you need further advice. To book your next appointment call 607-323-4061 or click here.

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