Do you have a ton of medical expenses each year? Here’s how you can itemize them on your taxes for the largest return! Plus get our FREE spreadsheet to help you keep track! Medical Tracking Sheet – Blank
Disclaimer: we are NOT CPAs or tax professionals. We are simply sharing what works for us for our taxes. Every situation is different, and tax laws are subject to change. We are not responsible for an errors you encounter while filing your taxes.
If you’re like many Americans, taxes are something that take up a lot of time and are often procrastinated. They also can be involved and complex. When you have the headache of health issues, having to add taxes to that can be overwhelming.
We encountered that our first year of marriage. Mrs. Crazy was hospitalized 13 times that year, and our medical bills piled on. When a family friend suggested we itemize those expenses on our taxes for the year, we were thrilled. We already kept a careful budget (using the program YNAB), and had a separate category for medical. We assumed it would be easy to just stick that total into our taxes.
Nothing with taxes is easy.
Imagine our surprise to see that instead of one lump sum of “medical,” we had to categorize it! There were separate entries for prescriptions, doctor bills, facilities, labs, and more! So one in-patient hospital stay had to be divided up into what was paid to the doctor, what was paid for any scans, and the separate hospital fee itself. What was going to take about 5 minutes turned into over ten hours of combing through the budget and sorting each expense.
Lucky for y’all, you can benefit from our mistake! After this time-consuming disaster, we made a spreadsheet with a new tab for each of the different medical categories. Each time we entered a medical expense into our budget, we also added it to our spreadsheet in the proper category. By doing this a couple of times each week, we saved so many hours at the end of the year and ensured that we never missed an expense.
(Please note, we pay our medical expenses out of pocket and not through a flex-spending account or other tax-free account.)
You can download a FREE copy of our spreadsheet by submitting your email address below!
Here are the current categories for deducting medical expenses:
- Prescriptions: Co-pays for prescriptions, insulin, birth control pills, arithiritis painkillers, asthma inhalers
- Medical Professionals: Dentists and doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncturists
- Facilities: Nursing and retirement homes, inpatient rehab centers, sanitariums, hospitals and clinics
- X-Rays and Lab Work: Blood tests, cardiographs, metabolism tests, urine analysis
- Long-Term Care: Personal care, rehabilitation, therapy
- Glasses and Contacts: Exam fees, saline solution, enzymatic cleaner, eye surgery and vision correction
- Supplies and Equipment: Hearing aids, oxygen, braille supplies, crutches
- Travel Expenses: Miles driven; bus, parking, taxi, etc.; lodging expenses
- Insurance Premiums: Separate by person and if it’s long-term
- Other: Anything else that does not fit into the other categories
In our spreadsheet, we put each of these categories in their own tab. At the top, you can get the total for each category. On the first tab, you will also get the total amount spent in all of the categories.
The only category that is a bit different is travel expenses. Each time you drive to the doctor, etc. then put the mileage in the same line where you enter the bill. If there is no bill, then add it as a separate line in the Travel Expenses tab. The reason you want to keep track of miles is that you can deduct a certain amount per mile you traveled in your car (in 2017, that amount is $.17 per mile).
We hope that this spreadsheet is useful for you! If you have any questions, please ask them in the comment section below and we’ll do our best to help you out!