Are medical supplies tax deductible?

  1. So I was watching an old episode of ER (season 4) and although I know that tv shows aren't always realistic it got me thinking... Dr. Carter mentioned to a fellow intern in the episode that medical supplies were tax deductible. Is that true? I'm studying to be a pediatric NP and had to buy multiple stethoscope sizes, an otoscope, an ophthalmoscope, plus a lot of less expensive medical items. This adds up to a lot of $$ and hadn't even thought I could claim it on my taxes!!
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    I believe so. Consult with a tax advisor or look it up in an IRS pub. IRS Publication 17 covers everything the normal person would ask. This would probably come under "business expenses". Check if there is a recorded message line at the IRS that you can listen to on the subject. I think my state used to have one for state taxes and I believe there might be one for the feds.
  4. by   Medic2RN
    If I'm not mistaken, business deductions must also meet a certain percentage of your salary. If you do not reach that monetary amount, then you cannot deduct it. I'd check it out though.
  5. by   Jennifer0512
    Oh that's interesting about the "reaching the monetary amount" of the percentage of the salary. I definitely could qualify as potentially not having enough since I am still a student. I will definitely still check it out though--thought it was interesting I hadn't even thought of it as a possibility before to deduct medical equipment!
  6. by   caliotter3
    Quote from Medic2RN
    If I'm not mistaken, business deductions must also meet a certain percentage of your salary. If you do not reach that monetary amount, then you cannot deduct it. I'd check it out though.
    This is definitely the problem. That is why I no longer go long form. Fine to spend a few thousand on medical care but you can't deduct it because you didn't reach the listed percentage. You still should look this stuff up.
  7. by   PsychNurseWannaBe
    I don't believe this is going to go under business expenses unless you are part of a business. If you are a student, things can get deducted but you have to be very careful. See a tax adviser and let us know!
  8. by   Jennifer0512
    I have a tax advisor, so I will absolutely check it out and see what she says! Then I will report back
  9. by   caliotter3
    Education expenses to obtain a new profession, blah, blah, blah. But generally, only for someone who is out of work and has to get retrained for a job. Not for the run of the mill high school grad pursuing their first professional training, as I remember. Check out Pub 17, which you can get for free from the IRS. Fascinating reading and you can learn a lot!
  10. by   Jennifer0512
    Quote from caliotter3
    Education expenses to obtain a new profession, blah, blah, blah. But generally, only for someone who is out of work and has to get retrained for a job. Not for the run of the mill high school grad pursuing their first professional training, as I remember. Check out Pub 17, which you can get for free from the IRS. Fascinating reading and you can learn a lot!
    Don't know if it matters that I'm a second-degree student (or 3rd degree I guess since the BSN was my second degree and now I'm getting my MSN/NP) and not right out of high school. Probably not, but who knows.

    Will also check out the Pub 17. I looked it up real quick and looks like you can get it in pdf off the irs website http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p17.pdf Thanks for the tip!
  11. by   caliotter3
    Well, I think it would hinge upon the professional difference between a registered nurse (BSN) and a nurse practitioner. A question for a tax expert. Good luck. Hope you find the answer is in your favor.
  12. by   Jennifer0512
    After looking through a specific section of the Pub 17 (thanks again for the suggestion!) I don't think it qualifies for me My work-education related expenses are for a NEW profession and therefore it wouldn't be considered deductible. However, just in case (I'm certainly no expert), I will still ask my tax advisor. Thanks for all of the input though! I'll let everyone know if I find out anything different.
  13. by   red2003xlt
    If it's a legit work or education expense meaning your school or employer requires you to own one as a condition of employment or education - it's covered.
  14. by   Meriwhen
    Quote from PsychNurseWannaBe
    I don't believe this is going to go under business expenses unless you are part of a business. If you are a student, things can get deducted but you have to be very careful. See a tax adviser and let us know!
    That's my thought. I don't know if you are able to claim those items as a student since technically you are not a NP--you're just learning to be one. If you were an employed nurse as well as a NP student, then you could probably claim the supplies as business expenses...of course, if ever audited you may have to demonstrate how you use these items in the course of your nursing practice (and not the NP education).

    However, you should really talk to a tax advisor as they have the best answer.

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