Can You Deduct Dental Expenses on Your Taxes?

Here's a reason to smile: You may be able to claim a tax deduction for last year's dental expenses.

Here’s a reason to smile: If you itemize, you may be able to claim a tax deduction for last year’s dental expenses.

Preparing your income taxes? You’re probably looking for as many tax deductions as possible. If you’re itemizing your deductions, remember that dental expenses are treated like medical expenses.

For federal income tax purposes, many medical and dental costs are permitted to be itemized if they exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income (for most people). So, if you’re itemizing a large hospital bill, include your root canals and crowns, too.

According to the IRS, amounts paid for the “prevention and alleviation of dental disease,” are considered medical expenses.

What do you get to deduct?

  • Preventive treatment: Standard dental procedures, like teeth cleanings, sealants, and fluoride.
  • Treatment to alleviate dental disease: X-rays, fillings, braces, extractions, dentures, crowns and root canals
  • Travel cost for medical care: Mileage to your dentist for you, your spouse and/or your dependents

What can’t you deduct?

  • Cosmetic procedures, such as teeth whitening, cannot be deducted.

Check your medical/dental expense percentage before attempting to take a deduction. These expenses generally must exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income for 2014. And remember – you can’t double dip. If you used a Flex spending account, you can’t take a deduction for medical or dental expenses paid from that account.

A deduction for state income tax purposes may also be available.

Confused? Watch this short video from the IRS’s YouTube Channel:


Please note that the above information is general in nature and is being provided for educational purposes. It is not intended as a substitute for tax advice. Please consult with your personal tax advisor to determine whether you are eligible for a tax deduction.

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