The Internal Revenue Service will now allow participation in medically approved weight loss programs to qualify as medical expenses, eligible for tax deductions.
The deduction is retroactive to 1998, and amended tax returns from previous years can be filed to take advantage of this decision. There are limitations to what can be deducted. Medical expenses seem to be what the IRS is including as the costs covered under this interpretation of obesity as a disease.
Taxpayers have been able to deduct the costs of weight loss programs as a medical expense since 2000 only if they were recommended by a doctor to treat a specific disease. Obesity itself was not recognized by the IRS as an ailment that qualified for the weight loss expense deduction.Note that special dietary foods aren't deductible.
And if you haven't filed your taxes yet this year, you might want to take a peek at the IRS document on tax scams that they call: The ‘Dirty Dozen', (pdf) which includes some good advice on how not to get taken.
The days to file are getting shorter. I have some forms to download....