I’m wondering if dental implants are tax deductible. I’m supposed to have two done and my insurance doesn’t cover the first portion— the surgery to place the implant, but it will cover the crown that comes later. If I can deduct the work when I do this year’s taxes, I might just try to squeeze in the work during the final quarter of the year, but if I can’t, then I’m going to hold off until I get my end-of year-bonus sometime in January. For what it’s worth, I asked my office this question and they looked at me like I’d grown a third eye. It’s not that strange of a question, is it?
This is not an odd question at all! In fact, it shows great foresight. The IRS addresses this in “Topic No. 502 Medical and Dental Expenses,” but it’s not exactly in plain English.
Yes, Dental Implants are Tax Deducible
Per the IRS, “Deductible medical expenses may include but aren’t limited to the following: Payments of fees to doctors, dentists, surgeons, chiropractors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and nontraditional medical practitioners…”
It also explains, “Medical care expenses include payments for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or payments for treatments affecting any structure or function of the body.” This would include dental implants.
That in mind, regardless of whether you see your general dentist or a specialist for the initial placement, you can deduct the expense later.
Anything Greater than 7.5% of Your Gross Income is Deductible
You don’t automatically get to deduct dental care. First, you have to itemize your deductions, rather than just taking the standard deduction. Secondly, expenses that are equal to or less than 7.49% of your gross income are on you. The average man now earns about $51,000 annually, which means you’re responsible for the first $3,820 and the rest can be deducted.
One other thing worth noting is that it’s not merely your dental expenses which fall into this bracket. You can be lumping it in with all your other out-of-pocket medical expenses to reach the threshold. So, that helps.
You Can’t Claim Anything Insurance is Covering
It probably goes without saying, but you cannot deduct any portion insurance is covering. While that may not be a concern for the initial placement of your dental implants, it may impact you next year when you have the dental crowns placed, since there’s a healing phase involved.
An HSA Could Work as an Alternative
Health savings accounts (HSAs) allow you to pull pre-tax money from your paycheck and use it to cover medical expenses. Usually, the funds are placed on a credit card that you can use with medical providers. If your employer offers something like this, it might be something to consider for next year, as it can help streamline the process and eliminate guesswork.
Check with a Tax Specialist if You Have Additional Questions
Tax guidelines change all the time and it’s always better to get your tax advice from someone who works with the codes every day. If you’re unsure of what you can claim or how to itemize your deductions, connect with a certified public accountant (CPA), enrolled agent (EA), or tax attorney in your area.
This blog is sponsored by Decatur, AL Dentists Drs. Drake and Wallace.