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Author: buttercole Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121272  
Subject: Medical Expense Deduction W/Gift Partial Payment Date: 1/31/2007 11:26 PM
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All,
Please let me run this by you all to make sure it really is appropriate from a tax deduction perspective:

My wife and I had a considerable amount of qualified deductible out of pocket medical expenses in 2006, roughly 34k. My wife's parent's gave us a cash gift of 23-24k to help us with some of this expense (The gift was check(s) to us rather than a direct payment to the hospital/doctor).

Now, from what I understand based on my research, we do not pay taxes on the gift, nor do we report it as income. However, as far as I know, we should be able to deduct the full 34k from our income.

It seems a little odd to me, but is this correct?

Thanks in advance for any insight!
Regards,
buttercole
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Author: DeltaOne81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 91567 of 121272
Subject: Re: Medical Expense Deduction W/Gift Partial Pay Date: 1/31/2007 11:45 PM
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However, as far as I know, we should be able to deduct the full 34k from our income.

It seems a little odd to me, but is this correct?


No, medical deductions are only deductible as far as they exceed 7.5% of your AGI. So if you have an AGI of $100K, then you can only really deduct $34K - $7.5K = $26.5K.

Also, you need to exceed the standard deduction, of course, if you don't do this already. But, say you had $0 in itemized deductions, and you're married filing jointly, then of that $26.5K above, you have a standard deduction of $10,700, so only $15,800 is really actually a benefit.

And, of course, this is only a deduction, so in the 25% tax bracket, you would actually save $15,800 * .25 = $3950.

Anyway, apply your own numbers to this, but I hope I've illustrated the concepts. You can get more information in IRS Publication 502:
http://www.irs.gov/publications/p502/index.html


And yes, the gift doesn't impact this.

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