Today 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 $40k 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?”
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. http://www.preventragedy.com/ . 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 www.TaxMama.com.[Note: If you were subscribed to the e-mailed TaxQuips, you’d be getting other exciting news and tips by e-mail, that never appear on the site. Please click on the join TaxMama.com link – it’s free!]
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