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Finding a natural tax remedy

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in Small Business Tax

Q. My wife is a believer in herbal remedies. Can we use our flex plan to cover these expenses? A.J.P., Parker, Colo.

A. Maybe. Generally, the cost of herbs for your general health or a self-diagnosed illness doesn’t qualify for medical expense deductions. Therefore, the costs can’t be covered under a flexible health care arrangement. However, in a new private ruling, the IRS has established that the cost of an herb is deductible as a medical expense if certain requirements are met. (IRS Information Letter 2010-0080, 6/25/2010)

Tip: To qualify for this tax break, you must prove you have a specific medical condition; that you’re purchasing the herb to treat or alleviate this condition; and that you would not have otherwise purchased the herb.

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