Tax Deductions for Contraceptives

by Mark Kennan

    Contraception costs may qualify as a medical expenses to increase your medical and dental expenses deduction on your taxes. While the cost of contraceptives won't usually be enough to let you take the deduction, it can further increase your deduction. To claim the deduction, you must itemize on your income tax return.

    Qualifying Contraceptive Expenses

    Only contraceptives prescribed by a doctor count as qualifying medical expenses for tax purposes. For example, if your doctor prescribes a birth control pill, you can deduct that cost. Similarly, if you use sterilization for birth control, the costs of the operation count as a qualified medical expense. However, if you purchase condoms or other non-prescription contraceptives, you cannot include those costs as a qualified medical expense.

    Must Pay Out-Of-Pocket

    To include the cost of the contraceptives in your deduction, you must pay the expenses out-of-pocket. For example, if your insurance covers the costs, or if you are reimbursed by your insurance provided for the cost that you paid, you can't include those costs when figuring your medical expenses. However, if your insurance coverage doesn't include contraceptives or if it only pays for part of the cost, you can deduct the costs for which you are not reimbursed.

    Figuring Your Deduction

    The medical expenses deduction, which includes the non-reimbursed costs of contraceptives, equals only the portion of your qualifying medical expenses that exceed a specified percentage of your income. For 2012, the threshold is 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income, while in 2013 and future years, the threshold jumps to 10 percent. For example, if in 2013 you have an adjusted gross income of $75,000, you could only deduct your qualifying medical expenses, including contraceptives, that exceeds $7,500.

    When to Deduct

    You must deduct the contraceptive expenses in the year that you pay for them, regardless of the year that you use the contraception. For example, say you get your birth control pills in a three-month supply. If you purchase them on December 30, 2013, even though most will be used in 2014, you include the cost on your 2013 tax return.

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    About the Author

    Mark Kennan is a freelance writer specializing in finance-related articles. He has worked as a sports editor for "Ring-Tum Phi" and published articles on a number of online outlets. Kennan holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and politics from Washington and Lee University.

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