This Tax Tip Spotify Podcast and/or WordPress Blog Post is in response to inquiries on the extent to which the expenses of a weight-loss program may qualify as deductible medical expenses.
Amounts you pay to lose weight in a weight loss program may be included in deductible medical expenses if it is a treatment for a specific disease diagnosed by a physician (such as obesity, hypertension, or heart disease). This includes fees you pay for membership in a weight reduction group as well as fees for attendance at periodic meetings.
The cost of a weight-loss program cannot be included in medical expenses if the purpose of the weight loss is the improvement of your appearance, general health, or sense of well-being. Further, you cannot include in medical expenses membership dues in a gym, health club, or spa as medical expenses; however, you can include in medical expenses separate fees charged for weight loss activities that relate to treatment for a specific disease diagnosed by a physician.
The cost of diet food or beverages is not includible in medical expenses because the diet food and beverages substitute for what is normally consumed to satisfy nutritional needs.
As a reminder, you can deduct on Form 1040, Schedule A (Itemized Deductions), only the amount of your medical and dental expenses that is more than 10 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI) for the year. Thus, in effect, you must subtract 10 percent of your AGI from your medical expenses to calculate your medical expense deduction.
Please call me at your convenience so that we can discuss the rules for deducting weight loss expenses as they apply to your particular situation.
Please contact the office of Don Fitch Accountancy at (760)567-3110 or Email Don.Fitch@CPA.com if you have any questions or would like additional information.
DON FITCH, CPA
74478 Highway 111 #3
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Toll Free: (877)CPA-Help or (877)272-4357
P.S. My firm is based upon referrals. Please feel free to refer my firm to anyone you know that is looking for a new CPA and/or tax preparer. Thank you in advance.
(Updated 05022021-1 320-299)