How to Use Dental Expenses as a Tax Deduction

How to Use Dental Expenses as a Tax Deduction. You may use your dental expenses as a tax deduction to the extent that your total dental and medical expenses exceed the IRS 7.5 percent threshold for deductibility of these expenses. In order to take this deduction, you must itemize your deductions on Schedule A.

Create an efficient system for coding your dental and medical expenses in your check register and credit card reports so that it will be easy to total and keep track of them when it is time to document your tax deduction.

Calculate your adjusted gross income by completing the first page of IRS Form 1040 through line 38 at the top of Page 2.

Enter the amount from line 38 of Form 1040 at line 2 of Schedule A.

Multiply line 2 of Schedule A by 7.5 percent and write the amount on line 3. This is the deductibility threshold for your medical and dental expenses.

Total all medical and dental expenses for the year and enter the amount on line 1 of Schedule A. Be sure to include premiums paid for dental insurance, dental prescriptions and costs for dental supplies purchased over the counter as well as your dentist bills.

Subtract line 3 from line 1 and enter the result, but not less than 0, on line 4. This is the amount of your tax deduction for medical and dental expenses.

Complete the remainder of Schedule A and file it with your Form 1040 to claim your tax deduction for dental expenses.

Use a folder or envelope clearly marked Dental and Medical Expenses to keep all documentation related to this tax deduction and file it with your other tax records for the current year.


  • Make sure that you do not deduct the same expenses in 2 separate years. Dental expenses are normally deductible in the tax year in which you pay them, as opposed to the tax year in which they are billed.

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