Can I Claim Plastic Surgery on My Taxes?

A lot of us are used to deducting medical expenses on our taxes, which is one reason why patients will ask us, “Can I deduct plastic surgery on my taxes?” It can be tempting to deduct plastic surgery on one’s taxes, but we don’t advise doing it until you speak with your tax professional and get their express approval.

According to IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses, it explains that in general, you cannot deduct what you spend on plastic surgery. “This includes any procedure that is directed at improving the patient’s appearance and doesn’t meaningfully promote the proper function of the body or prevent or treat illness or disease,” says the IRS’s website.

The following procedures are generally not tax deductible:

  • Facelifts
  • Liposuction
  • Electrolysis
  • Hair transplants

Just because most taxpayers cannot deduct medical expenses for plastic surgery, that’s not all-inclusive. In certain situations, taxpayers can deduct medical expenses they pay for plastic surgery if it’s medically necessary to improve a deformity that arose from, or is directly related to a disfiguring disease, a personal injury accident, trauma (e.g. domestic violence or a sport injury), or a congenital abnormality.

For example, if a woman undergoes surgery that removes all or part of her breast for cancer treatment, and she needs breast reconstruction, she can deduct the cost of her surgery as it would be a tax-deductible procedure.

What Procedures Are Deductible?

As we mentioned earlier, a breast reconstruction after a mastectomy can be included as a medical expense. Other procedures that may be deducted include breast reductions and scar revision among others. A tummy tuck or liposuction? Now those are not tax-deductible unfortunately, though many patients wish they were!

If you have a condition, like belpharoptosis (a droopy eyelid that can affect vision), it may be covered by your insurance if it affects your quality of life. To learn more about medically necessary plastic surgery procedures, contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Yuly Gorodisky, our Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon.

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