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mcmahonkl
New Member

I am having surgery on 12/30 to repair a deviated septum but also getting a rhinoplasty to straighten my nose. Is this deductible for medical expenses?

 
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Opus 17
Level 15

I am having surgery on 12/30 to repair a deviated septum but also getting a rhinoplasty to straighten my nose. Is this deductible for medical expenses?

From IRS publication 502, 

Generally, you can't include in medical expenses the amount you pay for unnecessary cosmetic surgery. This includes any procedure that is directed at improving the patient's appearance and doesn't meaningfully promote the proper function of the body or prevent or treat illness or disease. You generally can't include in medical expenses the amount you pay for procedures such as face lifts, hair transplants, hair removal (electrolysis), and liposuction. 

You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay for cosmetic surgery if it is necessary to improve a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or a disfiguring disease. 

Example: An individual undergoes surgery that removes a breast as part of treatment for cancer. She pays a surgeon to reconstruct the breast. The surgery to reconstruct the breast corrects a deformity directly related to the disease. The cost of the surgery is includible in her medical expenses.

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So, if you are paying for a cosmetic rhinoplasty as part of the deviated septum surgery, it will become a judgement call as to whether the rhinoplasty is a necessary part of the deviated septum surgery.  Whether or not you can claim it is a risk you will have to decide to take or not.

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*

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5 Replies
Opus 17
Level 15

I am having surgery on 12/30 to repair a deviated septum but also getting a rhinoplasty to straighten my nose. Is this deductible for medical expenses?

From IRS publication 502, 

Generally, you can't include in medical expenses the amount you pay for unnecessary cosmetic surgery. This includes any procedure that is directed at improving the patient's appearance and doesn't meaningfully promote the proper function of the body or prevent or treat illness or disease. You generally can't include in medical expenses the amount you pay for procedures such as face lifts, hair transplants, hair removal (electrolysis), and liposuction. 

You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay for cosmetic surgery if it is necessary to improve a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or a disfiguring disease. 

Example: An individual undergoes surgery that removes a breast as part of treatment for cancer. She pays a surgeon to reconstruct the breast. The surgery to reconstruct the breast corrects a deformity directly related to the disease. The cost of the surgery is includible in her medical expenses.

-----

So, if you are paying for a cosmetic rhinoplasty as part of the deviated septum surgery, it will become a judgement call as to whether the rhinoplasty is a necessary part of the deviated septum surgery.  Whether or not you can claim it is a risk you will have to decide to take or not.

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
Kat
Level 15
Level 15

I am having surgery on 12/30 to repair a deviated septum but also getting a rhinoplasty to straighten my nose. Is this deductible for medical expenses?

@mcmahonkl Your surgeon will be able to assist you in how to classify the rhinoplasty.  The deviated septum is a malformation that would definitely be covered.  Sometimes the rhinoplasty can be included as necessary because a crooked nose can also contribute to breathing difficulty.  Ask your surgeon.
*** I am NOT a tax expert. I am a seasoned TurboTax user, and volunteer to provide assistance to TT users. Nothing I post is to be considered TAX ADVICE; I bear no legal liability for responses.***
Kat
Level 15
Level 15

I am having surgery on 12/30 to repair a deviated septum but also getting a rhinoplasty to straighten my nose. Is this deductible for medical expenses?

This is a qualified medical expense, but there are a few rules you should know about.  

First, only the medical expenses that you PAID in 2016 are deductible for the year.  Likely, you won't be billed for these services until 2017.  So those expenses that you paid in 2017 will be allocated to next year's Schedule A.

Secondly (and this is a big one), only the amount of your qualified medical expenses that EXCEED 10% of your AGI (7.5% if you're 65 or older...which increases to 10% in 2017) are deductible.  So your medical/dental expenses must be pretty substantial in order for the deduction to benefit you.  See the additional info below.

https://ttlc.intuit.com/replies/4774889

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf

*** I am NOT a tax expert. I am a seasoned TurboTax user, and volunteer to provide assistance to TT users. Nothing I post is to be considered TAX ADVICE; I bear no legal liability for responses.***
Kat
Level 15
Level 15

I am having surgery on 12/30 to repair a deviated septum but also getting a rhinoplasty to straighten my nose. Is this deductible for medical expenses?

Of course, only unreimbursed expenses qualify.
*** I am NOT a tax expert. I am a seasoned TurboTax user, and volunteer to provide assistance to TT users. Nothing I post is to be considered TAX ADVICE; I bear no legal liability for responses.***
SweetieJean
Level 15

I am having surgery on 12/30 to repair a deviated septum but also getting a rhinoplasty to straighten my nose. Is this deductible for medical expenses?

and you must pay those expenses by 12/31/2016.

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