If you're feeling anxious about your hair loss, you could buy a wig. And guess what? If a psychiatrist prescribes it, it's tax deductible. Likewise, if your doctor says a special bed to help your back or sleeping disorder is needed, it's a potential tax break. And if your switch to a gluten-free diet is costing you more, the price difference between the old and new diets is also tax-deductible.
Welcome to the world of unusual medical tax deductions. According to Barbara Weltman, an attorney and contributing editor to J.K. Lasser's "Your Income Tax" book series, taxpayers often are not aware of all they can claim in medical expenses. Below are a few others.
• Improvements to make your home accessible to someone with a disability
• New siding on a home where a resident is suffering due to mold on the old siding
• Remedial reading help for a dyslexic child
• Herbal supplements prescribed by a doctor for migraine headaches
• Hearing-aid batteries
• Laser eye surgery
• In-vitro fertilization treatments for someone who is infertile
• The cost to buy, train, and maintain a service dog for someone who is visually impaired or hearing disabled, or has another physical disability. "In general, this includes any costs, such as food, grooming, and veterinary care, incurred in maintaining the health and vitality of the service animal so that it may perform its duties." says IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses.
• Breast pumps and lactation equipment. The Affordable Care Act also now requires these items to be covered by insurers, but people who remain uninsured or who are insured by "grandfathered" carriers can still take advantage of the tax deduction.