Can you deduct hearing aids on your income tax?

The federal government considers many of your medical expenses to be eligible deductions. Because hearing loss is considered a medical condition and hearing aids are FDA-regulated medical devices, you may be able to deduct these costs. Hearing aids, like most medical expenses, are sometimes tax-deductible, reducing your total out-of-pocket. By deducting the cost of hearing aids from their taxable income, users could reduce the cost of hearing aids by up to 35%.

The high cost of hearing aids can make millions of Americans avoid buying a hearing aid because they can't afford it, as they can cost several thousand dollars. Medical expenses, including hearing aids, can be claimed if you itemize your deductions. The stipulation here for most people is that their medical expenses must amount to more than 7.5% of their adjusted gross earnings. If you itemize your deductions for a tax year on Schedule A (Form 1040), Itemized Deductions, you may be able to deduct the expenses you paid that year for medical and dental care for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents.

You can deduct only the amount of your total medical expenses that exceed 7.5 per cent of your adjusted gross earnings. You calculate the amount you are allowed to deduct on Schedule A (Form 1040). Deaf people and people with hearing loss have special expenses that they can deduct as medical expenses. This classification is valid whether your hearing loss is conductive, sensorineural, mixed or any other type of hearing loss.

Today, there are around 25 million people who could benefit from purchasing hearing aids but, for various reasons, have not yet wanted or have not been able to do so. According to IRS Publication 502 (Medical and Dental Expenses), “The cost of a hearing aid and the batteries, repairs and maintenance required to operate it count towards the deduction of medical expenses. Although hearing loss is not classified as a disease, it is a recognized medical condition affecting an estimated 35 million Americans. The sum of the deductions you qualify for is greater than the standard deduction, so you'll want to itemize expenses (including hearing aids).

Anyone with hearing loss in the workforce can also deduct expenses for items needed to do their job. Even if you retired before age 65, you may be able to apply for this credit if your hearing loss or deafness is classified as a total disability that prevents you from gainful employment. In some cases, hearing aid users may also benefit from the earned income tax credit or the disability tax credit. However, as you will encounter many tax-related issues, the deduction status of hearing aids can also be quite complicated.

The fact that you need hearing aids would make it necessary for other electronic listening devices. Two specific tax credits, the disability tax credit and the earned income tax credit, can potentially affect people with hearing aids. In the eyes of the federal government, virtually all personal medical expenses, including hearing aids, may qualify for a tax deduction.