Every time you pay a medical or dental bill, you cringe. Health care costs are skyrocketing, and the thought of watching so many of your hard-earned dollars leave you hands to cover these costs can no doubt be agitating.

The good news?

If you decide to itemize your tax deductions during the upcoming tax season, you’re allowed to add dental and medical expenses to the mix, according to the latest tax audit reviews.

Dental patient getting treatment

According to the current tax law, you can deduct costs you paid for dental and medical treatment for yourself, your dependents, or your spouse. However, only the total expense amount that surpasses 7.5% of the adjusted gross income you earn can be deducted. This deduction can be added to the Schedule A part of your Form 1040.

Note that your deductible medical expenses include any payments you make for diagnosing, curing, mitigating, treating, and preventing disease. They also include the payments you make for care that affects one of your body’s functions or structures. These payments can be made to health care providers such as psychologists, psychiatrists, chiropractors, surgeons, dentists, and doctors.

Other types of health care expenses that are deductible include whatever you pay for medical care in a nursing home or in the hospital. Even acupuncture or drug/alcohol addiction treatment payments may qualify to be deducted. Likewise, the costs of drugs used to kick a smoking habit may be deductible.

Medical checkup expenses

However, you are not allowed to deduct burial or funeral expenses. Likewise, you cannot deduct nonprescription medications, cosmetics, toiletries, toothpastes, cosmetic surgery, or programs or trips designed to improve your general health. Also, when you deduct medical/dental expenses in 2020, for example, you can deduct only those expenses that you paid in 2019.

A tax expert can help you to take full advantage of all of the dental and medical expense deductions to which you are entitled in your unique situation from one year to the next.