The 2017 tax deductions available for hearing aids

06/27/2016

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If you’re wondering if your hearing aids are tax deductible, good news they are.  Hearing aids are considered treatment for a medical condition—changes in your hearing. So it would make sense that they along with batteries, maintenance of hearing aids, and other hearing aid related expenses would be tax deductible. Of course, like all deductions there are requirements. We’ve broken down exactly what you need to do.

So, yay, hearing aids are deductible! But, boo, you’re going to need to itemize medical expenses. Hey, for most Americans it’s worth the extra effort. Just remember that you need to spend more than 10% of your income (if you’re under 65) and over 7.5 % of your income if you’re over 65 on medical expenses. So, as an example, if you make 70,000 dollars a year and are in the 10% bracket, you need to spend over $7,000 dollars on medical supplies to take the deduction. Although that might sound high, a lot of things you might not think of as deductible can be added to this medical expense pile. What qualifies as a medical expense?

Medical expenses include anything that goes into treating, curing, easing, preventing, or identifying medical problems. That would include your monthly insurance payments, deductibles, and doctor visits, but excludes any part of medical insurance your employer pays. That means you can add up those monthly payments and save your receipts for your office visits. Receipts are important for a lot of things, because no deduction is too small.

You might not realize it, but you probably buy something medical related every time you go to the grocery store or local pharmacy retailer. Reading glasses and prescriptions to name two, so make sure you save these receipts. As for specific hearing aid expenses don’t forget to include hearing aid batteries, hearing health provider visits, repairs, television equipment that amplifies sounds, specialized security systems for people with hearing loss (including installation).  Below is a sample of what the government includes as deductibles (not all are hearing loss related):

In addition to this list of deductible items, if you work and have hearing loss you may be able to deduct things that are necessary for you to do your job, like telephone or conferencing equipment or specialized computer equipment. There’s also a chance you might qualify for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) as well as other benefits. Benefits vary by state.

As of now there is no universal hearing aid tax credit, but if you happen to live in New Jersey and make less than $150,000 a year, you’re in luck because the state offers $1,000 back per hearing aid.

Though tax season has recently ended, now’s the time to begin to plan for next year. Save your receipts, consider if you qualify for DTC, and talk to your hearing health professional about getting new hearing aids that will allow you to take that tax deduction. If taxes themselves are enough for you to think about, and let’s face it they are, we can help you find a hearing professional in your area.

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