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Author: amyshores One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121316  
Subject: Weight Watchers deductible? Date: 1/8/2002 11:16 PM
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I'm just wondering if monies spent for a weight loss program (specifically, Weight Watchers) are tax deductible and/or reimbursible under flexible medical spending plans. FWIW, I've lost 35 pounds and have another 50 to go, so there is some medical need, even if it's not something my doctor referred me to.
Thanks,
Amy
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Author: acm4tax Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 56947 of 121316
Subject: Re: Weight Watchers deductible? Date: 1/8/2002 11:43 PM
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First congratulations for your successful weight loss. May your have continued success until you reach your goal weight.

Here's what my tax reference says about weight reduction programs:
"If you incur costs for such programs to improve your general health, the costs are not deductible even if your doctor has recommended them. However, if your doctor has recommended a program as treatment for a specific condition, the IRS allows a deduction for the cost of the program, but not for the cost of the food, if the food replaces the food you normaly eat."

Good question, but certainly not the answer you had hoped for, I'm sure.

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Author: aharman One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 56959 of 121316
Subject: Re: Weight Watchers deductible? Date: 1/9/2002 6:55 AM
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Good work Amy. My specific condition is obesity. If my doctor tells me to go to WW to reduce obesity, will the fees be deductible?

Alice the Truthful

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Author: amyshores One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 56993 of 121316
Subject: Re: Weight Watchers deductible? Date: 1/9/2002 10:38 PM
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Hm. You're right--not the answer I was hoping to hear! It seems unjust that I can't deduct it in an effort to AVOID heart disease, high blood pressure, Type II diabetes, etc. My doctor told me I'm at risk of developing high blood pressure, and approved of the Weight Watchers thing (I was already going at the time). Do you think that counts?
Amy

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Author: acm4tax Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 57006 of 121316
Subject: Re: Weight Watchers deductible? Date: 1/9/2002 11:38 PM
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It's still just for general health. You do not have any of those potentially dangerous conditions that need to be treated (thankfully), therefore weight loss program is not deductible.

Some decisions have to be made dispite the lack of tax benefit. Keep up the good work of losing those extra pounds. Send me some of your willpower.

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Author: scooter45242 Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 57072 of 121316
Subject: Re: Weight Watchers deductible? Date: 1/11/2002 8:46 AM
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If I'm understanding the question right, the issue is whether Weight Watchers can be deducted if there is a specific diagnosis of obesity, which is a medical condition (as opposed to just being overweight). Pub 17 specifically says weight reduction programs are not deductible; however, if it's prescribed by a doctor for a diagnosis of obesity, would that still be true? What if the weight reduction program is being run by the doctor?

MA

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