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Finding a tax cure for laid-off spouse

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in Small Business Tax

Q. My wife worked for three months this year before she was laid off. Can I deduct all our health insurance costs because I’m self-employed? E.V., Bel Air, Md.

A. It depends. As a self-employed individual, you can generally deduct 100% of health insurance premiums paid to cover you and your wife on page 1 of your Form 1040.  But no deduction is allowed for premiums paid for months when coverage is available through your spouse’s job.

For example, if your spouse was covered for the first three months of the year, but you were not, you can deduct premiums to cover yourself for the entire year and premiums to cover your spouse for the last nine months of the year.

Tip: If your spouse elects COBRA coverage instead, she may qualify for a 65% subsidy on the COBRA premiums.

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