Health Care

Health Care

How do health care reform and taxes connect? The Affordable Care Act is single largest change to the tax code in two decades. Find help navigating the complexities of the new health care legislation, Medicare, Medicaid and other medical deductions.

Posts: 2
Registered: ‎04-17-2017

Medical deductions of items purchased by caregiver / relative / friend

Hello I have a health related tax question I have been unable to answer.

If a single filing taxpayer has significant health issues requiring a friend or relative to purchase prescribed medicine and supplements for them, can these be claimed as deductions? If so which of the following scenarios are acceptable.

A) The purchaser was given cash in advance by the ill person to buy the items. Cash receipts were given to the ill person.

B) The purchaser made the purchases with their personal credit card and was then reimbursed with cash from the ill person. The original receipts have the purchasers name and card number on them.

C) The purchases were considered gifts and not reimbursed.

If you could please offer some clear insight it would be greatly appreciated. The only thing we were able to find regarding this subject was a court ruling referred to here

Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to your insight.

Trusted Council Member
Posts: 6,191
Registered: ‎02-23-2016

Re: Medical deductions of items purchased by caregiver / relative / friend

Hi SeekingClarity,


Welcome to the H&R Block community.


Medical expenses are deductible on your tax return so long as you actually paid for them.  If you had to give someone cash to go and buy medicines for you that works because you actually paid for the prescriptions.  If you reimbursed the person who bought the medicine that also works because you actually paid for your medicine.  However, if you were given medicines or treatments for free or as a gift that doesn't count because you didn't pay anything for them.


Make sure that you keep receipts, or get a receipt from the person who goes and gets what you need if you have someone helping you out.  You don't actually have to submit records but you'll want to have them in case the IRS asks a question.


If you have any other questions I'll be glad to help.



Senior Tax Advisor (Tampa, FL)