Can LASIK Surgery be Deducted from my Taxes?

Despite being a medical procedure, most medical insurance policies don’t cover LASIK. As a result, many people use FSA and HSA accounts to help cover the cost of LASIK. But there is another option that may help you save money on laser eye surgery: tax deductions.

Can I write off LASIK surgery on my taxes?

According to the IRS, yes, you can deduct, “eye surgery to treat defective vision, such as laser eye surgery,” from your taxes. However, your total medical expenses for the year must meet a threshold to be eligible and you must itemize your deduction.

So, what are eligible medical expenses and how do you figure out if you’ve met the threshold?

Does the IRS view LASIK as a Medical Expense?

The IRS says that LASIK is an eligible medical expense. The IRS states that, “medical expenses are the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and for the purpose of affecting any part or function of the body.” People can deduct payments for legal medical services, the cost of supplies needed, and even some transportation expenses related to the medical procedure. Sounds great, right?

But these medical expenses are subject to a threshold. For 2018, you can only deduct medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). What does that mean? For the sake of easy math, let’s say your AGI is $100,000. You’d have to have medical expenses that exceed $7,500 in order to deduct anything from your taxes. Let’s say you had $10,000 of medical expenses that year – then you could deduct $2,500 of that from your taxes.

For a list of qualifying medical expenses for the 2018 tax year, see IRS publication 502.

Will I Have to Itemize my Taxes to Claim the Medical Expenses Deduction?

To claim medical expenses like LASIK as a tax deduction, you must itemize your deductions. For the 2018 tax year, the standard deduction is $12,000 for single filers, $24,000 for married filers, and $18,000 for heads of households. This is a big increase from 2017, so it’s possible that the standard deduction will still offer a bigger tax deduction than itemizing your medical expenses. Ultimately, you’ll want to talk to your tax preparer to decide if claiming your LASIK surgery as a medical expense makes sense for your situation.

How to Save Money on LASIK Eye Surgery

There are plenty of ways to save money on LASIK surgery in 2019:

  1. LASIK surgery can be claimed as a medical tax deduction, though you must meet a medical spend threshold and itemize your deductions to qualify.
  2. A common way to save money on laser eye surgery is to use a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA). By putting money into FSA and HSA accounts, you can avoid paying taxes on the cost of LASIK.
  3. Many LASIK centers offer financing to help patients break their surgery into smaller payments. For example, Lipstock LASIK offers financing through Care Credit with 0% interest for up to 12 months.
  4. Lipstock LASIK offers a $1,000 discount on the Lifetime Commitment Plan for patients who book a consultation through the online scheduler. Contact Lipstock LASIK today to set up a free consultation.
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