December 18, 2007 12:00 am

IRS Okays Diagnostic Medical Procedures

Individuals can claim an itemized medical deduction for costs related to the diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, cure or prevention of disease, or any condition affecting any structure or function of the body. The IRS has now made it clear that diagnostic procedures need not be recommended by a doctor in order to be deductible. Also, they can be testing for healthy functioning; they need not be looking for disease. "Diagnosis," while usually determining a medical condition or disease, can also include a determination that a condition is absent. Further, a taxpayer does not have to choose the least costly testing method. Examples: Annual physicals, electronic body scans, and home pregnancy tests.

Bonus: Since the cost of diagnostic tests are a deductible medical expense, they can also be covered under a flexible spending account (FSA), health reimbursement account (HRA), or a health savings account (HSA).

Tax Glossary

Real estate investment trust (REIT)

An entity that invests primarily in real estate and mortgages and passes through income to investors.

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