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hostetlerjoseph
New Member

Can i prepay medical expenses in 2016? For example, my wife and I will do IVF in 2017, but would like to prepay in 2016 to tax advantage of the tax savings?

 
6 Replies
DoninGA
Level 15

Can i prepay medical expenses in 2016? For example, my wife and I will do IVF in 2017, but would like to prepay in 2016 to tax advantage of the tax savings?

I assume that you mean pre-pay for the expenses in 2017 for a procedure to be performed in 2018.  

Yes you can pay for a medical expense in 2017 for a procedure in 2018 and report the amount paid with out of pocket funds as an itemized medical deduction on the 2017 Form 1040 Schedule A.   However, only your total medical expenses that are greater than 10% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) can be deducted.  Your total itemized deductions reported on Form 1040 Schedule A must be greater than the standard deduction for your filing status to have any tax benefit.

Standard deductions for 2017 

  • Single - $6,350 add $1,550 if age 65 or older
  • Married Filing Separately - $6,350 add $1,250 if age 65 or older
  • Married Filing Jointly - $12,700 add $1,250 for each spouse age 65 or older
  • Head of Household - $9,350 add $1,550 if age 65 or older
Hal_Al
Level 15

Can i prepay medical expenses in 2016? For example, my wife and I will do IVF in 2017, but would like to prepay in 2016 to tax advantage of the tax savings?

I found this wording in IRS Publication 502: "Payments for future medical care. Generally, you can't include in medical expenses current payments for medical care (including medical insurance) to be provided substantially beyond the end of the year. This rule doesn't apply in situations where the future care is purchased in connection with obtaining lifetime care of the type described earlier."
hostetlerjoseph
New Member

Can i prepay medical expenses in 2016? For example, my wife and I will do IVF in 2017, but would like to prepay in 2016 to tax advantage of the tax savings?

Is substantially beyond the end of the year defined? Or are you usually okay to include pre paid medical expenses?
Hal_Al
Level 15

Can i prepay medical expenses in 2016? For example, my wife and I will do IVF in 2017, but would like to prepay in 2016 to tax advantage of the tax savings?

I cannot find substantially defined. I would think a January procedure would be OK, but not December. Anything inbetween is iffy.
TGMOCATKU
Returning Member

Can i prepay medical expenses in 2016? For example, my wife and I will do IVF in 2017, but would like to prepay in 2016 to tax advantage of the tax savings?

The wording the most recent pub 502 (2019) is different. It states:

"What Expenses Can You Include This Year?
You can include only the medical and dental expenses you paid this year, but generally not payments for medical or dental care you will receive in a future year."

Critter-3
Level 15

Can i prepay medical expenses in 2016? For example, my wife and I will do IVF in 2017, but would like to prepay in 2016 to tax advantage of the tax savings?

What you can do is pay for the total expected  cost of dental expenses like braces or dentures  in December even if the work will take more than one tax year.  But you cannot prepay for unscheduled estimated costs in the future. The doctor needs to actually accept the full payment ... you cannot just put money "on account" to make a deduction. 

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