Plastic surgery (unless medically necessary) The IRS says it can deduct the cost of plastic surgery if it is needed to improve or correct a deformity resulting from a congenital abnormality, injury incurred in an accident, trauma, or disfiguring illness. Technically, cosmetic surgery falls under the category of personal appearance expenses, although it lives in a somewhat gray area. This is because permanent modification of your body is difficult to categorize as exclusive to work, unlike a special costume, you can't “take it off” when you go out. You probably already know that charitable deductions are tax-deductible.
But what about the cost of caring for your pet? Or your son's clarinet lessons? In select cases, the IRS has allowed taxpayers to deduct unconventional expenses on their tax returns. For example, these costs may be a qualified medical expense or are an ordinary and necessary business expense of an entrepreneur. That means it might be more difficult for filers to claim unconventional itemized deductions on their returns. You generally can't collect a tax exemption for cosmetic surgery.
The Tax Court allowed an exception in the case of Cynthia S. Hess, then a freelance exotic dancer in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She tried to get a depreciation tax exemption on implants, declaring them a deductible business expense. The IRS initially blocked the deduction, stating that the implants were a personal cost.
However, the Tax Court found that they were a business expense and ruled in favor of Hess. In 1990, the Tax Court ruled in favor of John and Joana French, who tried to cancel their 1984 taxes on a private plane that they used to check in their rental condominium. The French were based in San Jose, California, and their condominium was in Mammoth Lakes, California. The two had the option of driving more than six hours or taking the only commercial flight available to take care of their property.
The IRS had argued that the family enjoyed flying to Mammoth Lakes and that they skied and swam during their visits, so the trips were actually vacations. On the other side of the spectrum, if you have a service animal or guide dog, you can deduct the cost of buying, training and maintaining it. This would count as a medical expense. Finally, if your pet becomes an Internet sensation, you may be able to deduct related costs such as business expenses, Greene-Lewis said.
The IRS has a nine-part test to help you make the determination, addressing the time and effort spent making your business profitable and whether you keep accurate books and records. The same goes for weight-loss aids that your doctor prescribes to treat a particular illness. May be deductible, but only to the extent that it is not covered by insurance. In 1962, the IRS added a provision allowing a tax deduction for clarinet classes based on an orthodontist's recommendation that the woodwind instrument could help correct a child's overbite.
Do you have a confidential information tip? We want to hear from you. Get this in your inbox and learn more about our products and services. It may surprise you to learn that cosmetic surgery, in some cases, is an IRS-approved tax deduction. Costs related to maintaining and changing your personal appearance are tax-deductible only in certain circumstances.
IRS rules on cosmetic surgery are clear. Medical expenses you incur for unnecessary cosmetic surgery are not deductible. The IRS allows you to cancel medical expenses related to procedures that cure a condition or disease, treat or restore your body, or improve your overall health. For example, the IRS would allow you to deduct the cost of breast reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy because the procedure restores the body to its pre-cancer state.
To be deductible, an expense must be considered ordinary within the industry or profession (i.e. Suppose cosmetic surgery is considered ordinary and necessary and is therefore deductible. In those circumstances, the person or entity that paid it would get the deduction. If the producer paid it, it would get the deduction.
But the surgery must be routine and necessary for the recipient of the surgery; otherwise, it could be taxable compensation for the recipient of the surgery. If it is ordinary and necessary for the actor and paid for by the actor, the actor would get the deduction. Theoretically, you could use this decision to support a business expense claim for a tummy tuck if the appearance of your stomach is necessary for your business. Claiming the cost of cosmetic surgery as a tax deduction is almost always impossible, but it has been done under extremely specific circumstances.
According to IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses, it generally cannot include medical expenses for cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, such as facelifts, hair transplants, hair removal (electrolysis), and liposuction. Most patients who choose to undergo cosmetic surgery do so to feel safer and more comfortable day by day, in any work, social or other environment, and enjoying success in their professional careers should be considered as a cherry on the cake, not as their main motivator. If the likelihood of being able to cancel other personal appearance expenses is rare, deducting the cost of your cosmetic surgery is almost impossible despite the well-known case of Cynthia Hess (also known as “Chesty Love”), an adult artist who successfully claimed her breast augmentation as a commercial expense in the early 90s. The Tax Court has set a precedent to allow cosmetic surgery deductions as business expenses when cosmetic surgery is necessary for commercial purposes.
You can't deduct funeral or burial expenses, over-the-counter medications, toothpaste, toiletries, cosmetics, a trip or program for general health improvement, or most cosmetic surgeries. That would likely be classified as a medically necessary cosmetic procedure and any part paid by the patient could probably be included as a tax deduction in medical expenses. For example, an exotic dancer could claim the cost of breast augmentation on the grounds that her surgery was a requirement for employment (surgery made her more successful in her profession) and that the surgery was not suitable for daily use (the augmentation was such that she would have breast reduction once her theatrical career was over). You can include in medical expenses the amount you pay for cosmetic surgery if it is necessary to improve a deformity that arises from, or is directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury as a result of an accident or trauma, or a disfiguring illness.
As an advisor for many decades to performing artists and production companies, I have never encountered a scenario in which a production company requires an actor to undergo cosmetic surgery. . .