Medical marijuana = not medical.


Breast Pumps: Deductible. Medical Marijuana: Not Deductible. By Laura Saunders

The hurdle to getting an income-tax deduction for medical expenses is high: 7.5% of adjusted gross income (10% if the taxpayer owes alternative minimum tax). But many taxpayers don’t know that the list of what qualifies is far broader than what insurance typically reimburses. If one single or many combined expenses are high, the deduction could be significant.

Here, according to J.K. Lasser tax expert Barbara Weltman, are 10 deductible medical expenses many people overlook—plus five the Internal Revenue Service prohibits.  For more information, see IRS Publication 502 at Note that the IRS’s list applies not only to tax deductions, but also to permissible withdrawals from Health Savings Accounts.


  • Batteries for hearing aids
  • Breast pumps and lactation equipment
  • Gluten-free diet (the excess cost over the cost of normal diet) for someone with celiac disease.
  • Herbal supplements prescribed by a doctor to treat migraine headaches
  • In vitro fertilization for someone with infertility issues
  • Laser eye surgery
  • New siding on a home where the homeowner was ailing from the mold growing on the old siding
  • Remedial reading tuition payments for a child with dyslexia
  • Weight loss program if a doctor prescribes it to treat obesity or other illness
  • A wig, when prescribed by a psychiatrist for a patient troubled by hair loss

Not allowed:

  • Bottled water, in order to avoid drinking fluoridated city water
  • Medical marijuana, even if it’s prescribed legally in your state
  • Prescription drugs purchased from a foreign country
  • Tattooing and body piercing
  • Veterinarian bills to treat sick pets


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