Where do I enter (very substantial) medical costs in TurboTax? So far I can only see a place to record health insurance premiums. Also, will TurboTax figure out whether to take the standard deduction vs. Itemized deduction. I think I can only deduct medical expenses if I opt for Itemized deductions - is that correct? Thank you
The medical expense deduction has to meet a rather large threshold before it can affect your return. The amount of medical (including dental, vision, etc.) expenses that will count toward itemization is the amount that is OVER 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. You should only enter the amount that you paid in 2019—do not include any amounts that were covered by insurance or that are still outstanding. Of course, your medical expenses plus your other itemized deductions still have to exceed your standard deduction before you will see a difference in your tax due or refund.
To enter your medical expenses go to Federal>Deductions and Credits>Medical>Medical Expense
Many taxpayers are surprised because their itemized deductions are not having the same effect as they did on past tax returns. The new higher standard deduction and the elimination of certain deductions, as well as the cap on state and local taxes have had a major impact since the new tax laws went into effect beginning with 2018 returns.
Your itemized deductions have to be more than your standard deduction before you will see a change in your tax owed or tax refund. The deductions you enter do not necessarily count “dollar for dollar;” many of them are subject to meeting tough thresholds—medical expenses, for example, must meet a threshold that is pretty hard to reach. The software program uses all the IRS rules that apply to the expenses you enter, and it tells you if you have enough to use your itemized deductions or if using the standard deduction is more advantageous for you. Under the new tax laws, some deductions have been capped—there is a $10,000 limit to the itemized deductions for state, local, property and sales taxes.
Your standard deduction lowers your taxable income. It is not a refund.
2019 Standard Deduction Amounts
Single $12,200 (+ $1650 65 or older)
Married Filing Separate $12,200 (+ $1300 if 65 or older)
Married Filing Jointly $24,400 (+ $1300 for each spouse 65 or older)
Head of Household $18,350 (+ $1650 for 65 or older)
Look on line 9 of your 2019 Form 1040 to see your itemized/standard deduction amount
Health care insurance premiums and all other medical expenses that you paid with out of pocket funds are an eligible medical expense that you can deduct using Schedule A for itemized deductions. However, only your total medical expenses that are greater than 7.5% 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 2019
- Single - $12,200 add $1,650 if age 65 or older
- Married Filing Separately - $12,200 add $1,300 if age 65 or older
- Married Filing Jointly - $24,400 add $1,300 for each spouse age 65 or older
- Head of Household - $18,350 add $1,650 if age 65 or older
To enter your medical expenses -
- Click on Federal Taxes (Personal using Home and Business)
- Click on Deductions and Credits
- Click on I'll choose what I work on (if shown)
- Scroll down to Medical
- On Medical Expenses, click the start or update button
Or enter medical expenses, sch a in the Search box located in the upper right of the program screen. Click on Jump to medical expenses, sch a
TurboTax will enter the higher of the Standard or Itemized deductions on your tax return Form 1040 Line 9