How to Claim Mesothelioma Medical Expenses as Tax Deductions
If you claim your mesothelioma medical expenses as a deduction on your taxes, you need to keep records of your claimed expenses in case you are audited. In an audit, you must prove to the IRS that the expenses you claimed on your tax return are valid. Otherwise you may be required to pay additional taxes plus a penalty.
Also be sure to let your mesothelioma lawyer know your medical expense totals for the year so he/she can include them as part of your claim for compensation in settlement negotiations and at trial.
Here’s how to document your mesothelioma medical expenses:
1 Label the sections of an accordion file or separate file folders with the categories of mesothelioma medical expenses that you want to claim. For example, you probably need a section for doctor bills, lab bills, co-pays, prescriptions and insurance paperwork. Any costs you incur traveling for your mesothelioma medical treatment or to seek legal advice because of your mesothelioma should also be filed in separate section. Costs for medical equipment you buy or rent because of your mesothelioma should also have a section.
2 Add your own notes to every printed record of a medical expense when you receive it. Each document should identify the medical professionals who provided treatment for you and in your own words, what they did. The medical terms on the bill may not make sense to you later on. The record should also include the name and address of the provider, the date of the expense, type of expense and cost. The IRS recommends keeping track of expenses when they occur. Include items like receipts, bills, sales slips, canceled checks, credit card statements and records of electronic transfers.
3 Enter the details of each medical bill into a spreadsheet on your computer. You can also set up a paper-and-pencil spreadsheet to track medical expenses. The spreadsheet should include a column for each of the details you have noted on the written record. Organize the columns in a way that makes sense to you. You might, for example, put the date in the first column, then the name of the person associated with the expense, the type of expense and so forth. Spreadsheet applications or specialized tracking software have several advantages over a handwritten record. For example, they will allow you to reorganize the order of the columns and sort the information by a specific factor.
4 Place the printed record of the expense in the appropriate section of your files. Keep the records in order by date within each file section by consistently placing each new record at the front or the back of the file. Occasionally flip through every section to make sure the order is correct and that you put each piece of paper in the right section.