Discussion:Homeopathic medical deductions?

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Discussion Forum Index --> Tax Questions --> Homeopathic medical deductions?

Scottcpa (talk|edits) said:

24 December 2008
I have a client that wants to deduct "Homeopathic" doctor visits and "prescriptions." I am very skeptical about this as it sounds like a New-age thing. However, I cannot find so much as a mention of this anywhere - either to deny or allow this. Anyone run across this and with what authority would I document my files?

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

24 December 2008
Scott, homeopathy is not new by any means. It predates what we know as standard medicine today. Homeopathy is making a comeback of sorts.

I think there are a handful of states that will license homeopaths. If your client lives in such a state, I don't see why this would not be deductible.

Also, in some cases, an MD or DO will offer homeopathy as an additional therapy, and of course, that would be deductible.

In my state, we do not license homeopaths as far as I know, however, we do have some practicing homeopaths that people pay out of pocket etc. I would not deduct for citizens of my state.

P.S. I have not searched any court decisions regarding the deductibility of homeopathy, if there any to be found.

HAPPY TAX (talk|edits) said:

24 December 2008
I hoped this case would help, but a close reading shows it really doesn't answer to the question.

http://www.legalbitstream.com/scripts/isyswebext.dll?op=get&uri=/isysquery/irl2a28/1/doc (this link has long ago expired, but the case was probably Nancy Huff v. Commissioner (1995); go to legalbitstream.com and search on either homeopathy or the case name)

In this case, the court allowed the taxpayer to deduct as medical expenses fees paid to an acupuncturist who also recommended homeopathic treatment. Since the acupuncture and the homeopathic treatments were entwined, it's not clear from this decision whether the homeopathy alone would have been deductible. A strict reading of the decision suggests acupunture, yes, but homeopathy, who knows? I guess what I'm saying is, this response is just wasting your time so I'll end here. Sorry.

Riley2 (talk|edits) said:

24 December 2008
Courts have approved deductions for Naturopathy; so, why not Homeopathy?

TaxSense (talk|edits) said:

24 December 2008
As far as I know, it's definitely deductible under a Section 105 or 125. According to Pub 502, homeopathy is not listed in includable medical expenses for deduction under Schedule A.

See Publication 502

TTMM (talk|edits) said:

24 December 2008
I have clients that use Homeopaths. I follow the basic rules for medical expenses. Is the procedure for a specific illness. Is the medicine for a specific illness. If the item is for general health, I don't deduct it.

Sometimes its difficult to determine if its for general health or the specific illness. My experience is that the general health procedures go hand in hand with the treatment for the specific illness as the homeopathic doctor is treating chemical or mineral imbalances etc as part of the treatment for the ailment, whereas the regular doctors just treat the illness. I also am skeptical of those that treat acne, smoking, or weight loss. You need to really interview the client as to the treatment they are receiving.

Oldcorps1947 (talk|edits) said:

24 December 2008
I would proceed with great caution, I have always been a skeptic when a taxpayer comes up with any major claims of medical expensives, when you look at the Standard Deduction and then at the requirement to exceed 7.5 % of Adjusted Gross, we are talking about a major financial hit on the taxpayer if in fact they made the payments. I require that I have a eyes on of all documentation of these expenses. I also, agree TTMM,except when it comes to eyes and prosthesis.

I can not believe how often, I have rejected clients request to claim personal trainers expensive and vitamins/supplements as medical expenses. I even had clients try to claim cost hot tubs, swimming pools, and golf expenses (physican said they need to exercise more.

Donniecastleman (talk|edits) said:

24 December 2008
As long as you don't try to write off Extenz (endowment lengthener), you might be OK, for the most part.

JAD (talk|edits) said:

24 December 2008
It seems like the payment to the homeopath would be deductible under Sec 213(a). Medical care is defined in Sec 213(d)(1), and it doesn't appear to be limited to care provided by MDs or DOs or such.

Doesn't Sec. 213(b) make the expense paid for the homeopathic treatment not deductible? See the definition of a prescribed drug under Sec. 213(d)(3). The treatments do not require a prescription - you can get them at any health food store or online.

I wonder if the pharmaceutical industry had a part in the Sec 213(d)(3) definition. There are a lot of nonprescription treatments for different ailments that docs prescribe drugs for. In my opinion, DGL is a lot better than the drugs that reduce stomach acid for heartburn, and I'd much rather take Valerian, Kava, certain amino acids, or homeopathic treatments to help me sleep rather than pop an Ambien or Sonata.

Scottcpa (talk|edits) said:

29 December 2008
Yeah, I'm still having a hard time getting my head around it, too. Nothing seems to specifically allow or disallow it. In Missouri, homeopaths are not licensed either, I think. I guess I will wait and see just how much effect it really has on the TR. If negligible then I might be inclined to satisfy the TP and write a memo to the TP explaining the audit risk and the uncertainty (i.e. - let it be their decision.) If it is very significant then maybe I will just go on vacation and return after April 15th!! Thanks, y'all.

Pegoo (talk|edits) said:

29 December 2008
So basically Homeopathic + Prescription = Wizard + Magic Potions?

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