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Columns: Tax Talk
George Saenz, CPA   Expert: George Saenz, CPA
Tax Talk
Some out-of-pocket medical expenses are deductible.
Tax Talk

Deducting drug rehab from taxes

Dear Tax Talk:
Can I deduct a drug rehabilitation from my taxes if I paid it out of my pocket for a family member? Is that considered a medical deduction?
-- Ryan

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Dear Ryan,
Medical expenses include amounts paid for an inpatient's treatment at a therapeutic center for drug addiction. This includes meals and lodging at the center during treatment. You can generally include medical expenses you pay for yourself as well as those you pay for someone who was your spouse or your dependent either when the services were provided or when you paid for them. If the family member was not your dependent either at the time the services were provided or when you paid for them you cannot deduct the medical expenses. 

If you cannot claim the family member as your dependent (i.e. because you do not provide more than half of his or her support) maybe you can trade off with the family member who does claim the individual as a dependent. Have that individual pay for the medical expenses while you pay for the nonmedical support, which isn't tax-deductible. That way, at least someone will be entitled to the medical expense deductions.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy -- Posted: Sept. 20, 2007
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