Dental Insurance and Tax Returns: Top Tips for Consumers in the 2012 Tax Season

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Consumers have options for tax-related savings: itemize dental deductions, or use tax-favored health plans.

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Today DentalInsurance.com, a leading innovator and provider of dental insurance and discount protection to individuals and employers, released tips for consumers and an infographic about using dental deductions and tax-favored health plans to gain the greatest personal tax advantages.

“For consumers who qualify, there are several ways to offset the cost of dental insurance and other dental-related expenses when tax season rolls around,” DentalInsurance.com Director of Business Development Avery Smith explained. “Since 2001, DentalInsurance.com has been dedicated to helping people get the most for their money when it comes to dental care, and these tips and the accompanying infographic are meant to help taxpayers use dental deductions and tax-favored health plans to their maximum benefit.”

Dental Insurance and Tax Returns: Top Tips for Consumers During Tax Season in 2012
1.    Consumers should find out whether they qualify for a tax deduction - and whether taking the deduction makes sense. The IRS only allows consumers to take a dental deduction if the total amount of all medical and dental expenses combined exceeds 7.5 percent of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI). For example, a person with an AGI of $100,000 would need combined medical and dental expenses of more than $7,500 to qualify, and only the expenses that exceeded that amount would be eligible for a deduction. Note that deductions for medical and dental expenses are only available when a taxpayer chooses to itemize all of their deductions, which may not always provide the greatest tax savings. (See infographic, Dental Insurance and Your Tax Return.)

2.    If a consumer decides to itemize, they should take into account everyone whose expenses they have a right to claim. Qualified dental expenses include those a consumer pays that are related to themselves, their spouse, and their legal dependents. For a child’s expenses to be included, he or she must be under the age of 19 or a student under the age of 24 for whom the taxpayer provided at least 50 percent support during the year being reported. Dental expenses incurred by live-in relatives’ (parents, siblings, in-laws, etc.) may also be deductible depending on the taxpayers’ specific circumstances. Some special rules and exceptions apply in cases of divorce, separation, and multiple support agreements.

3.    Understand what dental-related expenses qualify for a deduction. To qualify for a deduction a dental expense must have been paid for during the tax year for which it is being claimed. It does not matter when the services were provided. The expenses must be incurred for the purpose of preventing or alleviating a dental disease. This includes insurance premiums, expenses related to diagnosis or prevention, cures (including prescription medications), mitigation, or related treatments, out-of-pocket expenses, and even transportation costs if they were related to certain dental procedures. Taxpayers may not claim a deduction for expenses for which they were reimbursed.

4.    Take advantage of other tax-favored opportunities. In most cases, it does not make sense for consumers to itemize for medical and dental deductions. However, there are several opportunities for consumers to realize tax advantages related to dental expenses. For example, consumers may use a health savings account (HSA) or a flexible spending arrangement (FSA) to pay for dental insurance. Detailed information about each of these tax-favored health plans is available from the IRS.

About DentalInsurance.com
Based in Los Angeles, CA, DentalInsurance.com has been the preeminent dental insurance and dental discount plan comparison shopping experience since 2001. A leading innovator and provider of dental insurance and discount protection to individuals and employers, DentalInsurance.com was the first company to enable consumers to compare, apply for, and purchase dental insurance and discount protection from top-rated insurance carriers online via the company’s website at http://www.dentalinsurance.com. Working diligently to deliver the most competitive carriers and plans nationwide, DentalInsurance.com provides individuals, families, and businesses quality dental coverage to fit every budget and lifestyle.

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Avery Smith, Director of Business Development

Shawn Patrick
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