The IRS has released the latest version of Publication 502 for use in preparing 2019 tax returns. Taxpayers interested in filing itemized deductions for medical expenses will find the IRS Pub. 502 a useful resource when preparing their federal income tax returns. One notable change is that the 2019 medical mileage rate has increased to 20 cents per mile.
Below are some important reminders about Publication 502:
- This version reflects the change to 7.5% of adjusted gross income for all taxpayers, which is a result of tax reform enacted 12/22/17 and extended 12/20/2019.
- Note has been added under the “What Expenses Can You Include This Year?” section to clarify the difference between when you can deduct a medical expense on your tax return as an itemized deduction vs. when an expense is eligible for reimbursement under a Health Care FSA.
- Form 1040A is no longer available and all taxpayers must use Form 1040 to itemize medical expenses for the 2019 tax year.
Publication 502 provides helpful details on what qualifies as a medical expense under Code § 213(d), which can help identify the expenses that may be reimbursed or paid by health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), Health Savings Accounts (HSA), or Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA). However, Publication 502 should be used with caution in connection with Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) and Health Savings Account (HSA) benefits because the primary focus of this publication is to assist taxpayers with identifying medical expenses that are tax deductible on their federal income tax return, and it does not factor in differences in the specific rules for reimbursing expenses under health FSAs, HSAs, or HRAs.