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Tax Talk with George Saenz

Ask the tax adviser

Deducting mileage to pick up a prescription

Dear Tax Talk:
Is mileage to and from a pharmacy to get prescription medication considered a deductible expense?
EJ

Dear EJ:
I can see you're really working hard for tax deductions. An often-overlooked medical expense is transportation related to receiving medical care. On your 2001 return, the Internal Revenue Service allows you to claim 12 cents per mile for personal use of your automobile in connection with travel to a doctor's office, hospitals and clinics.

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The law states that medical expenses include expenditures for:

1. the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure of function of the body (including amounts paid for accident or health insurance), or

2. transportation primarily for and essential to medical care referred to above.

Based on this definition, it is my opinion that the transportation necessary to obtain medication would also qualify.

-- Posted: Feb. 20, 2002

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