Substance Abuse

Read this for alcohol and substance abuseToday TaxMama hears from Chris in the TaxQuips Forum, with a common problem. “It was mentioned by TaxMama on a news website today that money spent on substance abuse treatment is deductible as medical expenses. My 24 year old son has been in different forms of treatment over the last 4 years. While he was a dependant we spent about k on treatment facilities.

Can we go back and file for that loss? He now files on his own and is currently seeing a professional for his abuse problems. Is that treatment a deduction?”

Hi Chris,

You can amend tax returns for up to three years after the date you filed them, or up to April 15th of the year they were due – whichever is later. So, you cannot go back for 4 years. But you might be able to go back and get refunds for three years. In fact, you can still go after 2006 by filing a 1040X before midnight tonight.

If you’re not sure of all the costs related to 2006, include a statement on the explanation for the 1040X that you are filing a “protective claim” and will follow up with the documentation within a few weeks.

If you can get a tax pro to do this for you for 2006 by tomorrow, you’ll be protecting a lot of money.   

Good luck with the refunds!  And a prayer on behalf of your son.

Consider exploring this site to understand more about the physical aspects of the addiction – and perhaps to find ways to help him recover.  . Doug Thorburn has done more research into this area than anyone I know.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about substance abuse other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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