If you receive Social Security or railroad retirement benefits and are over age 65, or you have an illness that qualifies you for Medicare Part A, you automatically qualify to receive Medicare Part B medical insurance. Medicare Part B is an insurance plan that helps pay for doctor and medical service in exchange for a monthly premium. The Internal Revenue Service allows you to deduct your Medicare Part B premiums if you choose to itemize your deductions.
The IRS offers two deductions: the standard deduction and itemized deductions, both of which reduce your taxable income. When you itemize your taxes, you opt to claim various actual deductible expenses, instead of just choosing the one-size-fits-all standard deduction. Only certain expenses, such as home mortgage interest, charitable contributions and medical expenses, qualify as itemized deductions. When you itemize, you enter all of your qualifying expenses in Schedule A.
In addition to Medicare Part B, you might also pay monthly premiums for Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, and Part D for prescription drug coverage. The IRS allows you to deduct any of your out-of-pocket medical expenses, including the premiums you paid for Part C and Part D. Include these premiums, along with your Part B premiums, in Schedule A.
Medical and Dental Expenses
Medical expenses are not limited to just your Medicare premiums. You can also claim copayments, prescription costs, mileage, dental expenses and expenses for a new pair of glasses. The amount of medical expenses you can deduct on your taxes, however, depends on your adjusted gross income. To claim any medical expenses at all, your expenses must exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income, if you're under age 65, or 7.5 percent, if you're age 65 and older, as of 2013. For example, if you're over age 65 and had an adjusted gross income of $20,000, your medical expenses must exceed $1,500. If you paid $4,000 in Medicare Part B premiums, $2,500 of your premiums qualify as a deduction.
Itemizing Vs. Standard Deduction
The standard deduction is $12,200 for married couples filing jointly, $8,950 for head of household or qualifying widows, and $6,100 if you file as single or married filing separately. If the amount of your itemized deductions is not more than the standard deduction for your filing status, you are better off claiming the standard deduction. But when you claim the standard deduction, you cannot write off your Medicare Part B premiums. or any other itemized expense.
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