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Whether you should skip the Medical Expense section or not should be based on whether you can accumulate enough Itemized Deductions to exceed the amount of the Standard Deduction which would be beneficial to your Tax return.
Medical Expenses are an Itemized Deduction in Schedule A. This means that if the sum of deductions in Schedule A does not exceed the amount of your Standard Deduction, the Itemized Deduction Election will not be beneficial to your Tax Return. Additionally only the amount of Medical Expenses that exceeds 10% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) will be considered as a deduction. For example:
- Medical Expenses = $4000.00
- AGI = $15,000
- Allowable Medical Expense Deduction over 10% of AGI ($1500.00) = $2500.00
The Standard Deduction amounts for 2016 are:
- Single $6,300.00
- Married Filing Joint or Qualified Widow(er) $12,600.00
- Married Filing Separate $6,300.00
- Head of Household $9300.00
- Dependent $1,050.00
If you do not have records of your Medical Expenses it is not advisable to attempt to "Ball-Park" this amount. It would be best if you could retrieve documentation of these expenses in order to meet the IRS' standards for proof of payment and enter these amounts in TurboTax to have a comparison of Schedule A and your Standard Deduction Amount. There are other expenses that you can itemize as well. Attached below is a Checklist of common Itemized Deductions which can help you in maximizing the benefit of your return.
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