Yes, Virginia, It’s …
If you itemize deductions on your income tax return, you may be able to get some of your medical expenses back that you have paid for throughout the year. Determine whether the allowable expenses you paid during the year (home mortgage interest, property and state income taxes, charitable donations, etc.) exceed the stan- dard deduction for your filing status. For 2013 returns, the standard deduction for single taxpayers is $6,100 ($7,600 if you are over 65). Married couples filing jointly have a standard deduction of $12,200 (if both are over 65, the deduction is $14,600).
Medical costs are deductible only after they exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI). So if your AGI is $50,000, the first $5,000 of unreimbursed medical expenses does not count. There is a temporary exemption from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2016, for individuals age 65 and older and their spouses. They are allowed to deduct unreimbursed medical care expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income.
For the complete qualified medical ex- penses that you may deduct, see IRS Publi- cation 502 (you can do an Internet search for this). In addition to the items you would expect are deductible (such as physician, hospital, dental, laboratory and x-ray costs), you also may consider the following:
- An air conditioner necessary for relief from allergies or other respiratory
- Exercise program if a doctor has recom- mended it as treatment for a specific con- dition such as non-reimbursed pulmonary rehabilitation
- Insurance premiums for medical care
- Lodging expenses while away from home to receive medical care in a hospital or medical
- Medical aids, including wheelchairs, hear- ing aids and batteries, eyeglasses, contact lenses, crutches and
- Medical conference admission costs and travel expenses for a chronically ill person to learn about new medical
- Oxygen, oxygen equipment and the elec- tricity it takes to run
- Smoking cessation programs (program does not have to be recommended by a physician).
- Transportation costs for obtaining medical
- Weight loss programs, if recommended by a doctor to treat a specific medical condition or to cure any specific ailment or disease.
Computing the cost of electricity used:
- Look at the label on your concentra- tor. It states the number of volts and amps the concentrator uses. If not found on the concentrator, look for it in the manual or ask your oxygen provider. As an example, we will use 115 volts at 4 amps. To convert to watts (W), multiply volts and amps: 115 volts x 4 amps =
- Next, calculate the number of kilo- watt (KW) hours you use per year. Multiply the watts your concentrator uses by .001 KW/W to convert watts to In our example, 460 W x .001 KW/W = 0.46 KW.
- Multiply this answer by 24 hours/ day x 365 days/year if you are a con- tinuous user. If you do not always have your oxygen on, multiply by the average number of hours used per day and then by 365 days/year. To continue the example, 46 KW x 24 hours/day x 365 days/year = 4,029.6 KWH/Y. This is the kilowatt hours you have used to run your concen- trator the past year.
- Now, multiply the above result by the cost per kilowatt hour your elec- tric company charges It may be listed on your bill or you could call their office. Let’s say they charge you 8 cents per kilowatt hour (prices vary widely depending on the region in which you live).
To finish our example, 4,029.6 KWH/Y x $0.08 = $322.27. This is the amount of electricity you paid to run your concentrator.