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Were any of you able to deduct the cost of skin removal/arm lift/lbl from your taxes?



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I was just thinking about this. I've lost over 100 lbs so far and am planning on having plastics before the end of the year.

No layman guessing please, I'm looking for yes I did it and it was ok or I did it and got called on the carpet by the IRS or I'm a CPA and .....

I was only able to find one tax court case, and they ruled in the woman's favor for the deduction.

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JerseyCityGal,

Everyone will have a different situation. Typically you're allowed either a standard deduction or you can itemize -- not both. So think about your filing status for next year vs. the amount of money that will be spent out-of-pocket (non-reimbursed) on medical care. Just for kicks and giggles, you could go to TurboTax or HRBlock and see which option is recommended.

For most people, the standard deduction is usually higher. Also it's not a 1:1 match, there is a calculation utilized.

Topic 502 - Medical and Dental Expenses

If you itemize your deductions for a taxable year on Form 1040, Schedule A (PDF), you may be able to deduct expenses you paid that year for medical and dental care for yourself, your spouse and your dependents. For years beginning after December 31, 2012, you may deduct only the amount of your total medical expenses that exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income or 7.5% if you or your spouse is 65 or older. The 7.5% limitation is a temporary exemption starting January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2016 for individuals age 65 and older and their spouses. You figure the amount you are allowed to deduct on Form 1040, Schedule A. For more information, see Questions and Answers: Changes to the Itemized Deduction for 2014 Medical Expenses on IRS.gov.

Medical care expenses include payments for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or payments for treatments affecting any structure or function of the body.

I was just thinking about this. I've lost over 100 lbs so far and am planning on having plastics before the end of the year.

No layman guessing please, I'm looking for yes I did it and it was ok or I did it and got called on the carpet by the IRS or I'm a CPA and .....

I was only able to find one tax court case, and they ruled in the woman's favor for the deduction.

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@@allycatt98 Typically plastics are not considered deductible even though they are medical expenses.

I know all about itemized vs standard deduction. That wasn't my question.

I was asking people who had plastics after weight loss for skin removal/lbl etc (not just strictly cosmetic but extensive reconstructive types of surgery) if they were able to claim it as a deduction on their taxes or if it didn't fly.

I read the IRS Code on Medical Expenses and it says:

Operations

 

You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for legal operations that are not for unnecessary cosmetic surgery. See Cosmetic Surgery under What Expenses Are Not Includible, later.

and

Cosmetic Surgery

     

Generally, you cannot include in medical expenses the amount you pay for unnecessary cosmetic surgery. This includes any procedure that is directed at improving the patient's appearance and does not meaningfully promote the proper function of the body or prevent or treat illness or disease. You generally cannot include in medical expenses the amount you pay for procedures such as face lifts, hair transplants, hair removal (electrolysis), and liposuction.< /p>

You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay for cosmetic surgery if it is necessary to improve a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or a disfiguring disease.

Example.

An individual undergoes surgery that removes a breast as part of treatment for cancer. She pays a surgeon to reconstruct the breast. The surgery to reconstruct the breast corrects a deformity directly related to the disease. The cost of the surgery is includible in her medical expenses.

Which led me to a US Tax Court case where a woman had excess skin on her abdomen removed because it interfered with her physical movement required for work. She won her case and it was allowed, but Tax Court, unlike regular court, does not set precedent, Therefore .... I was asking what the personal experience was of other people who had skin removal type surgery was in successfully (or not successfully) claiming it as a deduction.

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JerseyCityGal,

I understand your question, but everyone's situation is different.

Let's say you took a deduction in 2014 for your Sleeve and were audited, would you be able to prove that it was medically necessary? That's really the issue here. You could definitely attempt to take the deduction. I've done it for dental work that was considered cosmetic. But if I were audited, I have the documentation to prove that my dental work was medically necessary even if it wasn't covered by my insurance.

I don't think one answer fits all situations.... It's not the same as an itemization for home office expenses (it would be so much easier if it was :( ). It gets really murky when you start comparing medical procedures and services. My sleeve was approved by the insurance company on the first submission within 48 hours, but there are tons of people on the board that have been repeatedly denied by their insurance company. I think this one is going to be dependent on the documentation that you have to support your deduction in the event of an audit.

I know that's not the answer you were looking for but it's the truth and audits are evil.

Ally

@@allycatt98 Typically plastics are not considered deductible even though they are medical expenses.

I know all about itemized vs standard deduction. That wasn't my question.

I was asking people who had plastics after weight loss for skin removal/lbl etc (not just strictly cosmetic but extensive reconstructive types of surgery) if they were able to claim it as a deduction on their taxes or if it didn't fly.

I read the IRS Code on Medical Expenses and it says:




Operations

You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for legal operations that are not for unnecessary cosmetic surgery. See Cosmetic Surgery under What Expenses Are Not Includible, later.

and




Cosmetic Surgery

Generally, you cannot include in medical expenses the amount you pay for unnecessary cosmetic surgery. This includes any procedure that is directed at improving the patient's appearance and does not meaningfully promote the proper function of the body or prevent or treat illness or disease. You generally cannot include in medical expenses the amount you pay for procedures such as face lifts, hair transplants, hair removal (electrolysis), and liposuction.< /p>

You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay for cosmetic surgery if it is necessary to improve a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or a disfiguring disease.


Example.

An individual undergoes surgery that removes a breast as part of treatment for cancer. She pays a surgeon to reconstruct the breast. The surgery to reconstruct the breast corrects a deformity directly related to the disease. The cost of the surgery is includible in her medical expenses.

Which led me to a US Tax Court case where a woman had excess skin on her abdomen removed because it interfered with her physical movement required for work. She won her case and it was allowed, but Tax Court, unlike regular court, does not set precedent, Therefore .... I was asking what the personal experience was of other people who had skin removal type surgery was in successfully (or not successfully) claiming it as a deduction.

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JerseyCityGal,

I understand your question, but everyone's situation is different.

Let's say you took a deduction in 2014 for your Sleeve and were audited, would you be able to prove that it was medically necessary? That's really the issue here. You could definitely attempt to take the deduction. I've done it for dental work that was considered cosmetic. But if I were audited, I have the documentation to prove that my dental work was medically necessary even if it wasn't covered by my insurance.

I don't think one answer fits all situations.... It's not the same as an itemization for home office expenses (it would be so much easier if it was :( ). It gets really murky when you start comparing medical procedures and services. My sleeve was approved by the insurance company on the first submission within 48 hours, but there are tons of people on the board that have been repeatedly denied by their insurance company. I think this one is going to be dependent on the documentation that you have to support your deduction in the event of an audit.

I know that's not the answer you were looking for but it's the truth and audits are evil.

Ally

No offense, seriously, but you are not getting it..

If you have an official medical diagnosis of Obesity, yes, your VSG is deductible (% of AGI and all that). If you had it done for shits and giggles and were not obese, it won't work.

"Medically necessary" does not appear in the Cosmetic section of the tax code. What does appear is " if it is necessary to improve a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or a disfiguring disease." It does not seem to me that Obesity falls under any of those categories, but I did find one US tax court case that allowed a woman with an over 100 lb weight loss whose abdominal skin got in the way of her movement for her job to take the deduction.

I am SPECIFICALLY asking:

1) people who have had reconstructive types of plastic surgery after massive (over 100 lb) weight loss; i.e. skin removal/LBL, arm lifts, etc (not a tiny Tummy Tuck but major surgery)

2) Did you claim these surgeries as a deduction on your tax returns?

3) How did it work out for you? Was it questioned?

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I thought my response was clear and relevant to the post, but okay. Not everyone interprets things the same way. So I will rephrase this.....

We have the ability to apply any of the available deductions when we submit our taxes. It's only if and when we are audited, that your questions would actually become relevant. There could be hundreds (or thousands) of people out there that have applied this deduction. Only the ones that were selected for an audit can honestly tell you if the IRS accepted/allowed this deduction after a manual review.

That being said, the results will still vary by individual because there is a medical necessity requirement. Perhaps this is just clear to me because I have experience developing evidence-based criteria.

IRS language pasted from your reply:

necessary to improve a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or a disfiguring disease."

Notice the key word "necessary." Based upon your health history, can you prove that the removal of the excess tissue was necessary to improve a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or a disfiguring disease? Is your excess skin (as a result of obesity) so extensive or impairing that it could be considered a disfigurement?

Based upon the language you were kind enough to paste in your reply, my previous reply is still appropriate. Honestly, this would be easily remedied by just contacting the IRS and asking about the audit process related to medical deductions: "What type of documentation is required if I'm audited? Do you need documentation from my physician to support my use/application of this medical deduction?"

You would probably be better off obtaining this information directly from the IRS (regarding their specific requirements) instead of relying on someone else's results (that are based upon their own personal health history).

I hope you're able to get the information you need in order to move forward.

JerseyCityGal,

I understand your question, but everyone's situation is different.

Let's say you took a deduction in 2014 for your Sleeve and were audited, would you be able to prove that it was medically necessary? That's really the issue here. You could definitely attempt to take the deduction. I've done it for dental work that was considered cosmetic. But if I were audited, I have the documentation to prove that my dental work was medically necessary even if it wasn't covered by my insurance.

I don't think one answer fits all situations.... It's not the same as an itemization for home office expenses (it would be so much easier if it was :( ). It gets really murky when you start comparing medical procedures and services. My sleeve was approved by the insurance company on the first submission within 48 hours, but there are tons of people on the board that have been repeatedly denied by their insurance company. I think this one is going to be dependent on the documentation that you have to support your deduction in the event of an audit.

I know that's not the answer you were looking for but it's the truth and audits are evil.

Ally

No offense, seriously, but you are not getting it..

If you have an official medical diagnosis of Obesity, yes, your VSG is deductible (% of AGI and all that). If you had it done for shits and giggles and were not obese, it won't work.

"Medically necessary" does not appear in the Cosmetic section of the tax code. What does appear is " if it is necessary to improve a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or a disfiguring disease." It does not seem to me that Obesity falls under any of those categories, but I did find one US tax court case that allowed a woman with an over 100 lb weight loss whose abdominal skin got in the way of her movement for her job to take the deduction.

I am SPECIFICALLY asking:

1) people who have had reconstructive types of plastic surgery after massive (over 100 lb) weight loss; i.e. skin removal/LBL, arm lifts, etc (not a tiny Tummy Tuck but major surgery)

2) Did you claim these surgeries as a deduction on your tax returns?

3) How did it work out for you? Was it questioned?

Edited by allycatt98

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Just OMG ...

Please ... what part of "No layman guessing please, I'm looking for yes I did it and it was ok or I did it and got called on the carpet by the IRS or I'm a CPA and ....." is not getting through?

I am looking for PEOPLE WHO DID THIS AND ASKING THEM WHAT HAPPENED.

I have Google.

I can read.

I have a phone and can dial the IRS.

I have a CPA.

What I am looking for are PEOPLE WHO HAD SKIN REMOVAL SURGERY, TOOK THE DEDUCTION AND CAN TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE IRS.

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Agreed! OMG that someone (with a phone and a CPA no less) would want tax advice from random internet posters instead of the IRS. :D

Just OMG ...

Please ... what part of "No layman guessing please, I'm looking for yes I did it and it was ok or I did it and got called on the carpet by the IRS or I'm a CPA and ....." is not getting through?

I am looking for PEOPLE WHO DID THIS AND ASKING THEM WHAT HAPPENED.

I have Google.

I can read.

I have a phone and can dial the IRS.

I have a CPA.

What I am looking for are PEOPLE WHO HAD SKIN REMOVAL SURGERY, TOOK THE DEDUCTION AND CAN TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE IRS.

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@@allycatt98

I don't recall asking anyone for advice, but you insisted on giving it in heaps despite repeatedly being told that wasn't what I was looking for.

What I DID ask for, and I was very specific, were other peoples experiences in taking the deduction; as in a) they had skin removal surgery, b ) took the deduction, and c) what, if anything, happened.

But thanks for totally derailing my thread!

Edited by JerseyCityGal

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@@allycatt98

I don't recall asking anyone for advice, but you insisted on giving it in heaps despite repeatedly being told that wasn't what I was looking for.

What I DID ask for, and I was very specific, were other peoples experiences in taking the deduction; as in a) they had skin removal surgery, b ) took the deduction, and c) what, if anything, happened.

But thanks for totally derailing my thread!

Ouch. She's a CPA and took the time to answer your post. Is it necessary to blast people who are trying to be helpful?

It seems like you are looking for a specific answer. I'm sure if you search long and hard enough you will find all sorts of people claiming and deducting things on their taxes that wouldn't fly if they were audited. In my opinion, the plastic surgery your are speaking of doesn't qualify as a deduction. How about you claim it on you taxes and report back to us if you got audited? I will probably pass as I've already been audited once in my lifetime by the IRS. I prefer to stay under the radar ????

Edited by Bluesea71

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Blue,

Sometimes you just have to shake your head and laugh. You were reading my mind with your post. The IRS only gives you a hard time with your deductions if you're selected for an audit. Otherwise you just hope for the best and keep it moving. People claim deductions that they aren't entitled to all the time and they fly under the radar unless they had enough red flags to trigger an audit or they were just one of the unfortunate ones selected for a random audit. My heart goes out to ya.

My BFF has been in audit hell for almost six months because the auditors are backlogged. Even though hers was a random audit, she has to justify everything and she doesn't even itemize her taxes. Three years of returns and because of the audit, she can't even submit her 2014?? taxes to get her refund. Brutal stuff.

But what do we know? BariatricPal has evolved beyond even Alex's expectations: Weight Loss Support, Physician Reviews and now Tax Advice. :lol:

@@allycatt98

I don't recall asking anyone for advice, but you insisted on giving it in heaps despite repeatedly being told that wasn't what I was looking for.

What I DID ask for, and I was very specific, were other peoples experiences in taking the deduction; as in a) they had skin removal surgery, b ) took the deduction, and c) what, if anything, happened.

But thanks for totally derailing my thread!

Ouch. She's a CPA and took the time to answer your post. Is it necessary to blast people who are trying to be helpful?
It seems like you are looking for a specific answer. I'm sure if you search long and hard enough you will find all sorts of people claiming and deducting things on their taxes that wouldn't fly if they were audited. In my opinion, the plastic surgery your are speaking of doesn't qualify as a deduction. How about you claim it on you taxes and report back to us if you got audited? I will probably pass as I've already been audited once in my lifetime by the IRS. I prefer to stay under the radar

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@allycatt98

As I said, I have a CPA who does my taxes and advises me.

I repeatedly asked for personal experiences, not "What should I do?".

Maybe you will see this better with the "you" taken out of it:

Me: Has anyone here tried a Blue Hawaii Martini? How was it? How did you feel after?

Answer: Blue Hawaii Martinis are made with 6 oz of vodka.

Me: I know. I have Google too. I am asking people who have tried one how they taste. Was it as good as it looks? How did they feel afterward?

Answer: Here's a ton of drunk driving statistics and other crap you didn't ask about.

Me: I really am just asking for people who have actually tasted a Blue Hawaii Martini and their experience. I keep telling you this, but you keep being stubborn and egotistical about answering when it's crystal clear I really just want to discuss personal experiences, and not watch you try and school me in things like martini's vs white russians (standard vs itemized) when I was a specialty go-go dancing bartender (Analyst structuring merger transactions for one of the top investment banks in the world) while you were in grade school.

Answer: I'm going to keep shoving things you didn't ask for down your throat and derail this thread and you should be grateful because I'm a Bartender (CPA)!

Me: All women should have an Bartending Degree (education) and good on you for having one, but that doesn't change the fact that a) I am not asking you for your advice on my situation which you somehow cannot stop yourself from giving despite being repeatedly told that I am not asking for advice on what to do. I am asking for other people's personal experiences with Blue Hawaii Martini's.

Answer: Ha. Ha, Ha. I just shake my head and laugh at all the people I assume are not educated and do not bow down to my sage words of advice even if it's not at all what they were asking. I'm going to keep being disrespectful to this other person and ruin any chance she has of getting people giving her answers and talk down to her, never once imaging that her level of education could possibly exceed mine and that I am just being a jerk.

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Rude

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@@JerseyCityGal no offense, seriously, but you are acting like an ass. Give it a rest already.

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@@allycatt98 thank you for taking the time to post this useful information. I found it helpful and I am sure a few others did, too.

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