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He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

Medical Expense Deductions

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Q.  My brother had a severe stroke while on vacation. I paid $15,000 for a private plane to fly him home and then have him transferred to a hospital. Can I deduct this expenditure? R.A., via e-mail

A.  It depends. The travel expenses are eligible for the medical-expense deduction. However, you may deduct only those medical expenses paid for yourself or a dependent. Thus, if your brother is not your dependent, you cannot claim any deduction.

Tip: If your brother does qualify as your dependent, the medical expenses paid on his behalf are added to your other medical expenses for the year. You may deduct only the excess above 7.5% of your AGI on your personal tax return.

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