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Medical deductions: costs of nondependents

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Q. I paid for my daughter’s experimental surgery in 2010. Can I deduct the cost as a medical expense if she’s no longer my dependent? P.R., Califon, N.J.

A. Possibly. Generally, deductions are limited to amounts paid for you, your spouse and dependents. But you may deduct medical expenses paid for someone that would have been your dependent except that (1) he or she received $3,650 or more taxable income in 2010, (2) he or she filed a joint return for 2010 or (3) you (or your spouse) could be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s 2010 return.

Reminder: You still must have provided more than half of your daughter’s support for 2010 to qualify under this exception.

Tip: Your medical expense deduction for 2010, including qualified amounts paid for others, is limited to the excess over 7.5% of your AGI.

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