Tax season is a busy time of year: gathering receipts, filing documents, and figuring out how much you owe. But there’s one tax question that’s unique for people with hearing loss: Are hearing aids tax deductible?
The quick answer is yes. Many medical expenses are considered eligible deductions under federal guidelines, and because hearing loss classifies as a medical condition, you might be able to deduct costs associated with treating it, including hearing aids. Learn more about how you can factor expenses related to hearing loss into your taxes.
The IRS offers guidelines for what can be considered medical and dental expense deductions. Under these guidelines, 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.¹
If you itemize your deductions for a taxable year, you might be able to deduct the expenses you paid in that year for care for you, your spouse and your dependents. Some examples of these deductible medical expenses can include payments of:
If you’ve ever wondered, “Are medical expenses tax deductible?” with high hopes, we have some relatively good news for you. Medical expenses like hearing aids can be deducted from your taxes, but there are guidelines for exactly how much you can write off.
You can only deduct the amount of your total expenses that exceeds 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. For example, if your gross income is $75,000, you can deduct the costs of any qualifying medical expenses over $5,625. Use a Schedule A (Form 1040) to calculate the amount you’re allowed to write off.
Because hearing loss is recognized as a medical condition, not a disease, costs related to hearing loss can be considered medical expenses per IRS guidelines. All costs relating to hearing loss can be categorized as medical expenses, regardless of severity or type. This means that a variety of treatment options— from hearing aids and cochlear implants to sound therapy and hearing tests—are considered medical expenses.
Your hearing aids are tax deductible in several ways. One allowable write-off is any payments made for your hearing loss diagnosis and treatment, including what you might have paid for the hearing aids. Depending on your adjusted gross income, this might not cover the entire cost of your hearing aids, but it can be a meaningful factor in managing medical bills.
You may also be able to deduct costs for transportation related to your hearing loss, such as fares for taxis, buses, trains or ambulances. Out-of-pocket costs related to personal travel, such as gas, mileage, tolls or parking, can also be deductible. Regardless of how you travel, these transportation costs can only be deducted if they are directly related to your overall medical expenses.
Always keep records and hold onto receipts for all travel related to your hearing loss; this will help you correctly apply them when filing taxes.
While hearing aids qualify for tax deductions for everyone who uses them, there are several factors that can influence your specific tax filing. Some tax credit programs can help offset some of the costs of your hearing aids.
Each tax credit for hearing aids comes with specific qualifications, so speak with a tax professional to determine if you qualify and how to file for your purchase.
If you have an employer-sponsored insurance plan, you might have been offered the opportunity to set up a Health Spending Account (HSA). This tax-advantaged savings account allows you to set aside pre-tax money to pay for qualified medical expenses, helping you lower out-of-pocket healthcare costs.
Not only are you able to control how much money goes into the account, but the amount follows you no matter if you lose your job, lose coverage or retire. Most importantly, money put directly in your HSA can be deducted from the income on which you pay federal income tax.
HSA funds are designed for medical expenses, but are hearing aids HSA eligible? Because they qualify as a medical expense, hearing aids are allowable for health spending accounts. While your contributions might not cover the entire cost of the hearing aids, it they can still be helpful. Have you already purchased hearing aids? Funds in your HSA account can also be applied to cover other hearing care costs, such as repairs, maintenance or batteries.
If cost is preventing you from purchasing hearing aids, Miracle-Ear can help. The Miracle-Ear Foundation’s Gift of Sound™ hearing aid program is designed to meet the needs of those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford hearing solutions so that everyone can live and hear more fully. Learn more and find out if you qualify.