Tax write off for diapers as medical expense

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#1
Hey guys, this is a question only for people in the United States. I was wondering if anybody knows how easy it is to deduct the cost of your diapers as an out-of-pocket medical expenses on your tax form. I do know that you need receipts to prove what you spent and that it needs to be a certain percentage spent of your income for the whole year, but that’s all I really know. I have never done this before and don’t exactly know how easy this is going to be or what the benefits would be to me any help with this would be welcome because if this is realistically going to be able to get me back more money then I am willing to try it but if it’s not really going to do a whole lot for me or it’s a giant pain in the ass then I don’t know if I really want to bother thanks for the info
 

CheshireCat

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#2
There are two questions to be answered:
1. Do your medical expenses for the year exceed the required percentage of income to qualify as a write off?
2. If so, does filing 1040 long form with Schedule A provide more benefit than the standard deduction?
If you answer yes to both, then enter your total medical expenses (including incontinence supplies, OTC meds, etc.) on Schedule A.

If you have reasonable health insurance, it can make it difficult to answer yes to the first question. In 25 years of permanent disability, with thousands of dollars spent annually on medical bills, I have qualified only once for the medical write off. Even as I am about to start Social Security and Medicare, it will be difficult to meet the required minimum. High priced, non-insured medical expenses are what typically gets you into the write off territory.
 
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#3
Well I’ve been on Social Security my whole life and no I have only a part-time job which is the only thing that counts as income for me and I didn’t know that Medicaid could have covered my incontinence supplies, I have only really need them for the past few years but I have heard that getting these covered it’s kind of a giant pain in the ass so I just didn’t really bother and have taking it upon myself to just buy my own diapers with some of my Social Security and Work money. I think that it Hass to be like 10% of your income and if I spend $1000 a year on diapers based on only making like between seven and $8000 a year that definitely would qualify, at least I would think so. But it kind of sounds to me like you had to have tried the insurance route first before writing off something like incontinence supplies on your taxes. It also sounds as though it’s one or the other you either get the medical right off or you get your standard deduction and the benefits that come with that but not both .
 

dogboy

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#4
One usually has to have an extreme medical expenditure to notice anything as a tax write off. My wife had some high medical expenses, but even that wasn't enough to give us any extra return on our taxes.
 

perlFerret

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#5
One usually has to have an extreme medical expenditure to notice anything as a tax write off. My wife had some high medical expenses, but even that wasn't enough to give us any extra return on our taxes.
Same here. Even car accidents and hospital stays for each of us in a given year didn't put me over the limit for medical expense deductions.
 

PCPilot

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#6
I think that it Hass to be like 10% of your income and if I spend $1000 a year on diapers based on only making like between seven and $8000 a year that definitely would qualify, at least I would think so.
This year the standard deduction is $12,000 - if you're only making $8k a year then you have no taxable income, therefore nothing to deduct.
 

willnotwill

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#7
You can only deduct medical expenses that exceed for 7.5% of your AGI (for last years taxes) or 10% for 2019 taxes. Then whatever exceeds that and whatever deductions you have (and note most miscellaneous deductions were eliminated) have to exceed the standard deduction as mentioned above ($12,000 for single, $24,000 for married filing jointly).
 

Slomo

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#8
Yes you can write off diapers, even for those who are not incontinent. Just like you can write of bandaids even if you buy them without bleeding at the time. The easiest way to write them off is to make all diaper purchases through a flexible spending account. Second to that is to save EVERY single receipt. And after everything is tallied you then have to hope it exceeds the minimum deduction. For many, it wont unless you've had a LOT of other deductions as well.
 

ltaluv

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#9
Slomo brings up a good point. There are limits to what you can contribute to an FSA or HSA, but then you can use the funds to pay for medical expenses including OTC meds, bandages, and presumably diapers (although I've never tried that personally). The nice thing about a FSA/HSA is that you don't have to itemize - you can still take the standard deduction. Your contributions are made pre-tax, so as long as your using the items for a legitimate medical need (you may need an incontinence diagnosis from a doctor if you're ever audited), you end up not being traded in that money.

Probably not relevant to the OP, but maybe helpful for others of us. I'm already maxed out on contributions to my HSA to cover the deductible on my HDHP, or I'd start getting a tax break in all the money that I pay for diapers.
 

Slomo

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#10
This is worth repeating every year to eliminate any confusion. Yes, the IRS absolutely does list adult diapers as available for medical deduction, and yes it is allowed for purchase with a health savings account. They do not list any requirements for why you might need or want to purchase them, nor do they care.

I looked it up online the two years prior, so don't ask again. IF anyone doesn't believe me then go look it up yourself.
 
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#11
OK thanks after reading further on a couple of more posts I’ve understood and realize that just doing my normal taxes without writing off my diapers is probably the best idea, so that’s what I’m gonna do, because I don’t make any taxable income really I’m going to qualify for the earned income tax credit and a few other things so my return will be pretty good this year anyways .
 

Slomo

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#12
OK thanks after reading further on a couple of more posts I’ve understood and realize that just doing my normal taxes without writing off my diapers is probably the best idea, so that’s what I’m gonna do, because I don’t make any taxable income really I’m going to qualify for the earned income tax credit and a few other things so my return will be pretty good this year anyways .
Seriously consider starting a health savings account for this year. Make all future purchase on it, and at the end of next year your eic credit will be that much higher. Yeah it doesn't make much sense if you're at or below the minimum alternative tax, but if like you, you are already deducting other taxes then it makes a "butt load" of sense (yeah, pun intended).
 

Spaz

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#13
This is worth repeating every year to eliminate any confusion. Yes, the IRS absolutely does list adult diapers as available for medical deduction, and yes it is allowed for purchase with a health savings account. They do not list any requirements for why you might need or want to purchase them, nor do they care.
This is not true. To purchase diapers through an FSA, they have to be medically necessary. Period. In the past, three separate FSA account management companies have asked for medical notes from my urologist. If you don't have a medical need (and the FSA company doesn't ask), but you get audited later, you're guilty of fraud.
 

Slomo

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#14
This is not true. To purchase diapers through an FSA, they have to be medically necessary. Period. In the past, three separate FSA account management companies have asked for medical notes from my urologist. If you don't have a medical need (and the FSA company doesn't ask), but you get audited later, you're guilty of fraud.
Uh, no. We've been over this the last two years in a row. You are simply misinformed. Like I said, look it up youself if you don't believe me.
 

willnotwill

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#15
Technically, anything on FSA / HSA / Medical Deductions needs to be medically necessary. However, the IRS considers an ADULT wearing diapers to have a medical necessity. They've not quite caught on to the fact that this community exists. It's on your conscience as to whether you take the tax preference or not. The IRS doesn't care.

As I pointed out, as far as the "deduction" goes, you need to have other things going on to clear both 10% AGI floor and the new standard deduction amounts.
 

Slomo

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#16
Technically, anything on FSA / HSA / Medical Deductions needs to be medically necessary. However, the IRS considers an ADULT wearing diapers to have a medical necessity. They've not quite caught on to the fact that this community exists. It's on your conscience as to whether you take the tax preference or not. The IRS doesn't care.

As I pointed out, as far as the "deduction" goes, you need to have other things going on to clear both 10% AGI floor and the new standard deduction amounts.
Will you guys please stop spreading misinformation! The federal government requires items to be "qualified expenses". The IRS even publishes a list of all items you can purchase- without needing a prescription. Adult diapers are on that list.

In fact, they go into further detail to specifically say mental health purchases ARE included. There is also NOTHING that says any items need to be approved by a doctor unless it isn't on that list- because it is a qualified expense. Only when it isn't do you need a prescription to make the purchase using your hsa. Heck, go to the hsabank site and you can purchase adult diapers right off their website. No questions, and prescription needed.

Oh, and ps. We have also been over that a persons mental need is every bit recognized by the medical community as being just as important as a physical one (which the irs also recognises). There is no distinction between items needed to treat a physical condition and items needed for psychological reasons. With that in mind, start by taking a look at IRS publications 502 and 969. And for gods sake quit spreading those lies.
 

Spaz

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#17
Will you guys please stop spreading misinformation! The federal government requires items to be "qualified expenses". The IRS even publishes a list of all items you can purchase- without needing a prescription. Adult diapers are on that list.

In fact, they go into further detail to specifically say mental health purchases ARE included. There is also NOTHING that says any items need to be approved by a doctor unless it isn't on that list- because it is a qualified expense. Only when it isn't do you need a prescription to make the purchase using your hsa. Heck, go to the hsabank site and you can purchase adult diapers right off their website. No questions, and prescription needed.

Oh, and ps. We have also been over that a persons mental need is every bit recognized by the medical community as being just as important as a physical one (which the irs also recognises). There is no distinction between items needed to treat a physical condition and items needed for psychological reasons. With that in mind, start by taking a look at IRS publications 502 and 969. And for gods sake quit spreading those lies.
Dude, you are spreading misinformation. FSA management companies WILL ask for doctors notes to verify that your diaper purchases are medically necessary. Every year for ten years when I had an FSA account I was REQUIRED to submit a note to my FSA from my doctor. To say otherwise, is to encourage tax fraud. Please stop it.
 

diapernh

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#18
Dude, you are spreading misinformation. FSA management companies WILL ask for doctors notes to verify that your diaper purchases are medically necessary. Every year for ten years when I had an FSA account I was REQUIRED to submit a note to my FSA from my doctor. To say otherwise, is to encourage tax fraud. Please stop it.
I have never had to submit anything from my doctor to be reimbursed or to substantiate the charge on the FSA debit card besides the receipt.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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#19
Will you guys please stop spreading misinformation! The federal government requires items to be "qualified expenses". The IRS even publishes a list of all items you can purchase- without needing a prescription. Adult diapers are on that list.
There's no MISINFORMATION there. What I wrote is EXACLTY the IRS determination.

The rule comes from the tax code 26 USC 213, this is the definition of the deduction:

"for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body,"

Further on in the IRS guidance, diapers and diaper service is not a medical expense "unless they are needed to relieve the effects of a particular disease."
(IRS PUB 502, 523).

The straw you are grasping upon is a later IRS determination that there are items that may be used for dual purpose that must be specifically justified as being needed for a medical purpose (sunscreen, facemasks, skin products, ....). Things to maintain overall health are not deductible, but if there's a specific disease or condition they are justified.

It then states there are certain items including diapers (for those beyond the normal diaper age) that are just assumed to be medically necessary as they have no "personal" use otherwise.


You can complain all you want, but the above is the law as experssed directly by the TAX CODE and the IRS Chief Cousnel (which are determining, not some list that you may have seen on your FSA).
 

Slomo

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#20
Dude, you are spreading misinformation. FSA management companies WILL ask for doctors notes to verify that your diaper purchases are medically necessary. Every year for ten years when I had an FSA account I was REQUIRED to submit a note to my FSA from my doctor. To say otherwise, is to encourage tax fraud. Please stop it.
Oh, my appologies. Not. I wasn't referencing a management company. I was referencing the irs directly. It still isn't required by the irs. Full stop. They absolutely do list adult diapers as a qualified expense, and they absolutely do include mental health the same as physical health. Stop trying to deny that. Had you bothered to look it up yourself you would have seen it right there in black and white.

Just because you deal with a third party fsa management company doesn't mean everything that company requires is also required by the irs. This topic is if adult diapers are allowed for purchase on an fsa as a medical expense (for physical OR mental reasons). According to the irs, the answer is not debatable, and is yes.

- - - Updated - - -

There's no MISINFORMATION there. What I wrote is EXACLTY the IRS determination.

The rule comes from the tax code 26 USC 213, this is the definition of the deduction:

"for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body,"

Further on in the IRS guidance, diapers and diaper service is not a medical expense "unless they are needed to relieve the effects of a particular disease."
(IRS PUB 502, 523).

The straw you are grasping upon is a later IRS determination that there are items that may be used for dual purpose that must be specifically justified as being needed for a medical purpose (sunscreen, facemasks, skin products, ....). Things to maintain overall health are not deductible, but if there's a specific disease or condition they are justified.

It then states there are certain items including diapers (for those beyond the normal diaper age) that are just assumed to be medically necessary as they have no "personal" use otherwise.


You can complain all you want, but the above is the law as experssed directly by the TAX CODE and the IRS Chief Cousnel (which are determining, not some list that you may have seen on your FSA).
Yeah, mitigation and treatement for any structure of the body. Being abdl we unequivocally require diapers as ongoing treatement and stress mitigation for our mental sanity. Ie, diapers are medically necessary for us. Go ahead, try to deny that. And that's not grasping at any steaws, it's a psychological fact.

Uh, no. Look again. Only diaper services are not qualified expenses. Let me quess, you looked at the hsabank site which only has a partial list of common items. Try again and look up the full irs list. Adult diapers are absolitely on the irs qualified expenses list. Because that is whats in the TAX CODE.
 
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