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Lose Weight & Save Money – A Winning Combination
December 3, 2016
What if you could lose weight, improve your health, and save money all at the same time? Sounds a little too good to be true, right? Well, luckily it doesn’t have to be! Weight loss programs are tax deductible provided you meet a few criteria. This makes it easier to reach your goals, especially with the holidays right around the corner.
Here’s how to get started:
Get it in writing. All weight loss programs from large-scale corporations, such as Weight Watchers, to smaller-scale hospital-based groups are eligible for a tax deduction as long as your doctor has recommended in writing that you lose weight. Your doctor must confirm that they have ordered you to lose weight to treat a specific disease, such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease or more. If say, you want to lose those last 10 pounds or just improve your general health and appearance, you won’t qualify for the deduction.
Gather your expenses. Don’t expect to be able to join an elite gym on Uncle Sam’s dollar. While expenses, such as gym membership, diet foods, and exercise equipment seem like a necessity to a weight-loss program, they’re actually considered personal expenses. However, what you can deduct is anything directly related to the weight-loss program, including fees, counseling services, doctors’ appointments, etc.
Do some quick calculations. While we’re talking about expenses, it should be noted that expenses must exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income before you can start making deductions. So, for example, if you make $50,000, then your expenses will need to exceed $3,750. You will have to itemize all of your eligible weight-loss expenses to deduct them as part of your overall medical deductions on Schedule A.
Committing to health-related weight loss is a huge undertaking that involves a lot of time, effort, dedication, and, yes, occasionally, money. Hopefully, it comes as a relief though that some assistance is available in the form of a tax deduction.