If you elect to itemize your deductions, besides for the actual costs for medical care, you may be able to deduct costs you pay to travel for medical care. This includes costs such as public transportation, ambulance service, tolls and parking fees. If you use your car, you can deduct either the actual costs or the standard mileage rate for medical travel. Actual expenses include the cost of gas and oil. You can't include depreciation, insurance, general repair, or maintenance expenses. If you prefer to deduct a standard mileage rate, that rate is 19 cents per mile for 2016. Whichever method that you use, you can add parking and tolls to the total expenses.

Also deductible are transportation expenses of a parent who must go with a child who needs medical care, transportation expenses of a nurse or other person who can give injections, medications, or other treatment required by a patient who is traveling to get medical care and is unable to travel alone, and transportation expenses for regular visits to see a mentally ill dependent, if these visits are recommended as a part of treatment.

In addition, if overnight accommodations are needed, they too may be able to be deducted under the following conditions:

  1. The lodging is primarily for and essential to medical care.
  2. The medical care is provided by a doctor in a licensed hospital or in a medical care facility related to, or the equivalent of, a licensed hospital.
  3. The lodging isn't lavish or extravagant under the circumstances.
  4. There is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel away from home.

The amount you include in medical expenses for lodging can't be more than $50 for each night for each person. You can include lodging for a person traveling with the person receiving the medical care. For example, if a parent is traveling with a sick child, up to $100 per night can be included as a medical expense for lodging. Meals aren't included.

Remember, the amount of medical expenses that you can deduct is the amount above 10% of your Adjusted Gross Income.

If you have any questions, feel free to email them to me at mpelberg@moshepelbergcpa.com

Moshe Pelberg is a CPA in private practice in Northwest Baltimore.