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How can I keep records of my out-of-pocket expenses?

Keeping records of your out-of-pocket medical and dental expenses is important if you want to include these expenses on your annual tax returns. It can also serve as a reference to determine your needs when you are choosing the best health care plan for you when your current policy expires. There are several computer programs that can help you maintain your medical expenses, or you can opt simply to keep your paper records in a file in a convenient location. Be sure to keep records of your own medical expenses, as well as those of anyone covered under your plan (such as your spouse or children).

Here is a brief list of some of the information you should keep.
  • Statements of your processed claims
  • Credit card statements that include payments of medical expenses
  • Processed checks you have written to cover medical expenses
  • Receipts of purchases related to medical or dental expenses
Be sure that all records are dated, and the type of medical service or product is clear. If you itemize your deductions for a taxable year on Form 1040 in your tax return, you may be able to deduct expenses you paid that year for medical and dental care for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents. You may deduct only the amount of your total medical expenses that exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI) (7.5 percent if you or your spouse is 65 or older until the end of 2016; after that it is 10 percent for everyone). For example, if your AGI is $100,000, you can deduct only medical expenses that exceed $10,000.  You can get lists of eligible medical expenses by logging on to the website of the Internal Revenue Service, www.irs.gov. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.