Does a Walk-In Bathtub Qualify for Any Income Tax Deductions?

Ella’s Bubbles strives to provide customers with strategies to make the purchase of a top-of-the-line walk-in bathtub more affordable. Deducting purchase and installation expenses from your taxes can be a key component of such a strategy.

Subject to several conditions and guidelines, the IRS allows a taxpayer to deduct necessary medical expenses from their taxes. These included costs incurred to diagnose, cure, treat, mitigate, or prevent a disease. The expense must have been incurred to prevent or alleviate a specific physical or mental condition. If a treatment benefits the taxpayer’s overall health, expenses occurred in the implementation of the treatment are not tax deductible. The specific language can be viewed in IRS Publication 502.

Walk-in tubs may well be exempt from deduction under this language if acquired for general health maintenance. Walk-in bathtubs with therapeutic jet arrays have been proven to support general health in many ways, including rejuvenating the skin, supporting organ function, soothing pain, and promoting digestion. Acquiring a walk-in tub for these benefits, however, would not qualify you for a tax deduction.

However, if a taxpayer is diagnosed by a doctor with a disease or condition that requires soaking, jet therapy, or other functions fulfilled by an Ella’s Bubbles walk-in bathtub, the expense of purchasing and installing the tub may well be tax-deductible. To justify the deduction, the diagnosis must be accompanied by a prescription that stipulates soaking in a walk-in bathtub as a necessary treatment for the diagnosed condition.

If it is starting to look like your tub purchase might make the grade with the IRS, some numbers must be crunched. To qualify for the deduction, the applicable medical expenses must account for more than 7.5% of your gross income. If a taxpayer earns $40,000/year, he or she must accumulate $3,000 or more in medical expenses before they can be written off. If the expense was $3,000 exactly, and absent other deductions, the taxpayer would be liable for taxes on $37,000 in income rather than $40,000.

If expenses come to less than $3,000, the taxpayer in this example does not qualify for a deduction in this example. When shopping for a walk-in bathtub, consider the cost of the product and installation expenses, and divide it by 7.5%. If the resulting number is greater than your annual income, you can deduct the expenses. If it is less than your annual income, no deduction will be available.

Many taxpayers file jointly with a spouse. If you do so, your gross income and medical expenses must be considered jointly as well. Total medical expenses must exceed 7.5% of both spouses’ income before becoming eligible for a tax deduction. Some spouses may discover that their combined tax liability is lower if they file single returns rather than joint returns.

The 7.5% threshold also applies if you are filed as a dependent on a caregiver’s tax return. The medical expenses in question must then exceed the combined income of the dependent and the caregiver, meaning dependent adults might have a harder time accessing the deduction with a higher expense-to-income ratio to clear.

If a customer is uncertain if they will qualify for a deduction, or how much a deduction can contribute to the affordability of a walk-in bathtub, Ella’s Bubbles encourages consulting a CPA or other tax preparation professional. Consult with your health insurance provider as well, as writing off the purchase of a walk-in bathtub may or may not violate certain terms of coverage.

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