Claiming a tax deduction for medical expenses is getting harder

Despite tax-law changes that have made it harder to claim the deduction for medical expenses, it’s still worth checking to see if you can take it for 2018.

As it stands, you can deduct qualifying medical expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income (taxable income minus certain adjustments) as long as you itemize your deductions. That floor is scheduled to rise to 10 percent in 2019, which will be a harder hurdle to clear.

This means that before the calendar flips to 2019, it might be worth strategizing to get the deduction this year.

“If someone is close to getting the deduction or knows they’ll itemize, then if there are things you can accelerate into 2018 instead of waiting until 2019, it might make sense to do it,” said Julie Welch, a CPA who serves on the American Institute of CPAs’ personal financial planning executive committee.

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