Are weight loss programs tax deductible?

While diet foods can also be part of a weight-loss program, they are substitutes for foods that taxpayers normally consume and meet their nutritional needs. As such, they are not deductible medical expenses, even for taxpayers whose illness qualifies them to deduct the costs of the weight-loss program. As mentioned above, if your doctor prescribed your diet or weight loss program to treat conditions such as obesity, then you qualify as a tax deduction. And while the IRS allows taxpayers to deduct fees associated with programs such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig Inc.

, there is no deduction for joining a gym. The IRS ruling does not define obesity generally described as excess body fat of 30 pounds or more above ideal body weight, or a body mass index of 30 or more. For products without gluten-free counterparts, such as xanthan gum and sorghum flour, you can add the total price of those products to your tax deductions. Therefore, in addition to no deduction being allowed for meals and dietary supplements, no part of the membership fees paid to a gym, gym or spa qualifies as a deductible medical expense in any case, even if the person joined a doctor's advice to lose weight to combat a disease.

So, to put it briefly, yes, you can get a tax cancellation if your doctor points your finger at you and demands that you cut down on carbohydrates due to illness. The tax code establishes a deduction for expenses paid for the medical care of the taxpayer, his spouse or a dependent; to the extent that such expenses exceed the adjusted gross income. If you itemize your deductions at tax time instead of claiming the standard deduction, you can deduct various medical and health care expenses. If you can show that a doctor diagnosed you with the condition and you incurred costs because of the treatments required by your doctor, then it is tax-deductible.

Membership fees at a gym, health club or spa are not deductible as medical expenses, but a separate fee paid for a weight loss program prescribed by a doctor to treat a specific disease (including obesity) and not just to improve appearance or overall health is allowed, as an expense. If you are trying to quit smoking, you can deduct the amounts you pay for smoking cessation programs and other treatments prescribed by your doctor. Also keep any bills, receipts, or weight loss program brochures that provide proof of meeting attendance and payments. Expenses that are about to be reimbursed by your insurance or employer are also not tax-deductible, and of course, you will not receive anything for general health purchases, such as gym membership fees, vitamin C tablets, organic toothpaste, or anything else Dr.

However, workers who set aside dollars pre-tax doctors in Medical Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts through their employers can also benefit because both programs use the IRS definition of medical expenses, Moore said. Previously, taxpayers were only allowed to claim the cost of weight loss programs recommended by a doctor to treat a specific disease associated with obesity, such as hypertension. In this case, the taxpayer did not justify the cost of the weight loss program; his self-prepared statement and testimony about his expenses were insufficient, so his deduction was rejected (Slawomir J. For example, you can't include membership fees for gyms, health clubs, or spas, but you can include separate fees charged by those facilities for weight-loss activities.


Sharron Bouyer
Sharron Bouyer

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