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Is it true you can deduct medical expenses you used IRA money for?

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New Member

Is it true you can deduct medical expenses you used IRA money for?

Let's turn this question around.

First, yes, if you itemize deductions, you can deduct qualifying medical and dental expenses. You should refer to IRS Pub. 502 Medical and Dental Expenses for detailed information about the range of expenses that can be deducted.

Now, if you took a distribution from an IRA during 2016, that distribution could be subjected to the 10% additional tax on an early distribution. The following is taken directly from IRS Tax Topic 557 - Additional Tax on Early Distributions from Traditional and Roth IRAs:

"To discourage the use of IRAs distributions for purposes other than retirement, you'll be assessed an additional 10% tax on early distributions from traditional and Roth IRAs, unless an exception applies. Generally, early distributions are those you receive from an IRA before reaching age 59½. The additional 10% tax applies to the part of the distribution that you have to include in gross income. It's in addition to any regular income tax on that amount." (Emphasis added.) 

One of the exceptions to the 10% penalty is "You have unreimbursed medical expenses that are more than 10% (or 7.5% if you or your spouse was born before January 2, 1952) of your adjusted gross income." So, if you have medical expenses that are sufficient in amount to be itemized, you can pay those expenses with funds distributed from your IRA, and not be subject to the early distribution penalty.


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