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darrinstern
New Member

Can you deduct legal fees for an educational attorney dealing with special education eligibility?

 
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Accepted Solutions
CarolynM
Level 1

Can you deduct legal fees for an educational attorney dealing with special education eligibility?

Unfortunately, no.

Most legal fees deductions were eliminated as part of the changes to the tax laws.

Fees for an educational attorney handling special education eligibility would not qualify for one of these very limited deductions.

For more information, follow this link: Misc Deductions 2018

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3 Replies
CarolynM
Level 1

Can you deduct legal fees for an educational attorney dealing with special education eligibility?

Unfortunately, no.

Most legal fees deductions were eliminated as part of the changes to the tax laws.

Fees for an educational attorney handling special education eligibility would not qualify for one of these very limited deductions.

For more information, follow this link: Misc Deductions 2018

PetuniasAuntie
Returning Member

Can you deduct legal fees for an educational attorney dealing with special education eligibility?

CarolynM, I saw this note you wrote stating that legal fees paid by families to obtain special education services are not deductible, but no context was provided to interpret your response. I've read elsewhere on the internet that if the services are deductible as medical expenses (which special education tuition, tutoring, and therapies are in at least some circumstances), then legal fees to obtain those services from a school district or other denying agency would be deductible to the extent they are not reimbursed. In one comment I read that the family would have had to win the case - i.e. they could not deduct legal fees for a case they lost trying to obtain special education services. But when a case is won and there are out of pocket legal fees resulting it seems that some advisors online believe the costs are tax deductible if the services qualify for deduction as medical expenses. Please comment! Thank you.

JohnW152
Employee Tax Expert

Can you deduct legal fees for an educational attorney dealing with special education eligibility?

The extent to which the IRS will allow legal fees as a medical expense is very limited.

According to Legal Fees in the IRS’ Publication 502 (2021), Medical and Dental Expenses:  

You can include in medical expenses legal fees you paid that are necessary to authorize treatment for mental illness. However, you can't include in medical expenses fees for the management of a guardianship estate, fees for conducting the affairs of the person being treated, or other fees that aren't necessary for medical care.

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