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vishalgupta_ism
New Member

International medical expense

I and my wife had a trip to India in 2016 for her medical treatment (IVF). Can we deduct the medical expenses in India in US tax returns. Can we deduct airfare expense for the medical treatment in India?
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Accepted Solutions
ChristinaS
New Member

International medical expense

The IRS does not provide explicit guidance on everything. As far as the cost of the IVF is concerned, the only cost that is explicitly excluded is the cost of international drugs which have not been approved in the US.

So, the cost of the IVF itself is deductible as a medical expense.

As for the travel, this is very debatable and it wouldn't be wise of a Turbo Tax employee to sanction this expense (you are the preparer of your return). You would have to prove, if questioned, that the trip to India for IVF was reasonable. IVF is obviously quite available and common in the US, so you would need a good argument.

Per the IRS, page 11:

4. There is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel away from home.

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

If this trip to India involved a visit with family, and was more than a medical trip, its not permissable to deduct the airfare.

View solution in original post

3 Replies
ChristinaS
New Member

International medical expense

The IRS does not provide explicit guidance on everything. As far as the cost of the IVF is concerned, the only cost that is explicitly excluded is the cost of international drugs which have not been approved in the US.

So, the cost of the IVF itself is deductible as a medical expense.

As for the travel, this is very debatable and it wouldn't be wise of a Turbo Tax employee to sanction this expense (you are the preparer of your return). You would have to prove, if questioned, that the trip to India for IVF was reasonable. IVF is obviously quite available and common in the US, so you would need a good argument.

Per the IRS, page 11:

4. There is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel away from home.

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

If this trip to India involved a visit with family, and was more than a medical trip, its not permissable to deduct the airfare.

View solution in original post

vishalgupta_ism
New Member

International medical expense

Thanks Christina for the explanation. While we did had one IVF in US, and it was three time expensive as in India. So, we got second IVF in India. While we went India primarily for IVF, we also visited our family in the same city as we had medical treatment. So, will that justify to include airfare to India for medical treatment. Also, can I include both us (husband and wife) airfare or just wife airfare?
ChristinaS
New Member

International medical expense

We are not your return preparers here, so I do have to caution you that we can't advise on issues which are not "cut and dry". That would have to be your call. I would say that you would have to prove that there was a legitimate reason to choose India over US for that treatment.
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