Taxing disabilities

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There are some little-known tax breaks for people whose dependents have been diagnosed with costly conditions, such as autism, food allergies and Celiac Disease. You can deduct out-of-pocket medical expenses, such as the difference in cost between doctor-required food and typical food, necessary nutritional supplements and the costs that are associated with a service animal if these expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income, tax attorney Roni Deutch says.

The cost to attend a camp that is designed for children on the autism spectrum also is tax-deductible, says David Spaulding of Citrin Cooperman. (He points out that a specialized camp is not the same as a camp that accommodates a disability.) Certain expenses, such as equine therapy, also can be deducted, he says.

Under the Lifetime Care Advance Payment Internal Revenue Service program, advance payments that are made to a private institution that provides lifetime care for disabled dependents are also tax-deductible, notes Maryann Previtera of Alloy Silverstein.

IRS generally allows anything that you can document with a doctor’s letter of medical necessity, says Evan Morgan of Kaufman Rossin. He warns that when it comes to things such as camps, only the portion that is related to medical expenses is deductible.