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Income Taxes - Deducting Medical Expenses

Cranford, NJ |

My ex owes me several thousand dollars in medical reimbursements from prior years. Can I deduct those expenses on my income taxes? If I ever do get reimbursed, it will be long after I incurred them. What would I do with that money (the reimbursed money) in that tax year. My medical expenses are substantial to me (over 20% of my income) so I will always have medical expenses to deduct. Would I credit them - in other words, take the reimbursement money away from my medical expenses deduction when I ever get what's owed to me? There are several thousand dollars from 2008 - is it too late to do anything related to my taxes at this point?

Expenses for the children from last year, 2011, total about $3000. (Total past due is about $14,000 from prior years) I paid them but have not been reimbursed even though I have requested reimbursement.

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Attorney answers 2


You say these expenese are related you your ex. If you were married, you could have deducted these on your joint return. If you filed separately, it is a little less clear. If you guys did deduct these on a joint return, and you are just looking for some type compensation from him, that will be very tough if it wasn't covered under the divorce decree.

Christopher Larson



They are medical expenses for our children - ex has NOT reimbursed me. I paid for these medical expenses. We've been divorced for over 15 years - Previously I've just deducted what was suppose to be my share of the expense even though I was not reimbursed his share.

Christopher Michael Larson

Christopher Michael Larson


To deduct an expense, it must actually be incurred. Assuming your tax returns are not pre-2009, you can amend and claim the entire expense. If he never paid the actual expense, he cannot claim it. Christopher Larson


Medical expenses, subject to the various limitations imposed, are deductible in the year incurred.

Assuming you filed your individual income tax for 2008 in 2009 then your right to amend your 2008 return may have expired on April 17th. If you have a tax return, check the date it was filed and count three(3) years from that date.

If you take the deduction, but get reimbursed by your ex, voluntarily or by court order, then you received a tax benefit and must report the reimbursement as additional income, or as an offset of your current year expenses.

You probably need to assistance of a good CPA rather than an a tax attorney, but in either case, you should definitely seek assistance, and, more importantly if this is a part of your Property Settlement Agreement or Final Judgment of Divorce, you should consult your family law attorney to file a Motion to Enforce Litigant's Rights. I suspect you are responsible for the first $250 of medical expenses as part of the child support paid, but only a reading of either of both documents will make this clear.

If you need the name of a good family law attorney, I know of one in Westfield and two in Livingston. I can be reached at 973-994-9080.

The foregoing is not intended to be legal advice upon which you may rely as I have not been retained for this purpose.

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