Cancer Patient’s Tax Considerations for NRI’s In The US
The diagnosis of cancer can be heartbreaking for an individual as well as the family. Getting adequate financial assistance during the time is one of the first things that would occur to an individual. While health insurance plans do cover some of the expenses, cancer patients have a lot of expenses that they must cater to. Cancer patients can reduce their tax liability with the help of substantial tax breaks, as they can deduct some of the expenses that they have paid from their pockets.
Taxpayers who use itemized deductions instead of standard deductions can still deduct medical expenses related to cancer. They can deduct expenses related to medical care, hospital stays, medication, diagnosis, provided that these expenses exceed 7.5% of their adjusted gross income (AGI).
Taxpayers can also claim mileage used for medical treatment at 20 cents per mile along with expenses related to attending seminars on education and diagnosis of cancer.
To deduct their health insurance, self-employed taxpayers don’t have to itemize deductions. They can directly deduct their health insurance premiums from their income.
How to Avail the Tax Break
According to the IRS, expenses that qualify for tax deductions under medical expenses include the cost of cure, cost of diagnostics, cost of treatment, cost of prevention, etc. Treatment for cancer is usually very expensive starting from chemotherapy to surgery. And your health insurance policy plays a crucial role in the amount that you can claim under the tax break.
For certain rare types of cancers, patients need to undergo special treatment such as mesothelioma. Travel is an integral part of such treatments and it might be considered for tax breaks.
The IRS lists out all the expenses that qualify for the tax break, which even includes the health insurance premiums which taxpayers pay with pre-tax dollars. To make it even more accessible, there are no restrictions on the mode of payment. You can pay for the care by cash, check or even credit card for the financial year that you want the tax deductions for.
For cancer patient’s tax considerations, there is one important thing that one must keep in mind. The IRS has increased the standard deduction for all the categories. The enhanced limit now stands at $12,200 for single taxpayers and $24,400 for taxpayers filing jointly. And the same for the head of a family is now $18,350.Thus, it still is at the hands of a taxpayer if they want to opt for standard deduction or itemized deductions. The usual condition where it makes sense to opt for an itemized deduction if it exceeds your standard deduction threshold.
When your itemized deductions exceed the standard deductions, you can benefit from the tax considerations for cancer patients. And medical expenses related to treatment or cure of cancer would go under the itemized deduction category, along with expenses such as state and property taxes, contributions to charity, interest paid on the mortgage, etc.
There is another condition that you must satisfy to avail of the benefits mentioned above. If you wish to itemize your deductions pertaining to medical expenses, you can do so only if it exceeds 7.5% of your AGI or adjusted gross income. For 2019, the limit is pushed further to 10% of the Adjusted Gross Income. For the year 2018, if someone had an AGI of $100,000, they would be eligible to deduct medical expenses, if the total expenses exceeded $7,500. The calculation is quite simple, 7.5% of AGI or $100,000, which deduces $7,500 as the threshold amount.Thus, you can claim the medical expenses and reduce your tax liability along with it.