Saving money on LASIK is something most of us would like to do. Spending several thousand dollars at one time is enough to put some LASIK fans dreams of clear vision on hold. Promotions and financing options can help many realize their glasses-free existence, however, there are other ways to save money on LASIK and they don’t cost a thing.
Did you know that LASIK is tax-deductible? LASIK is a surgical procedure that qualifies as a medical expense. According to TurboTax, “You can deduct any expense you pay for the prevention, diagnosis or medical treatment…and any amounts you pay to treat or modify any part or function of the body for health but not for cosmetic purposes.” This means that since LASIK corrects refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, it qualifies. Procedures and treatments such as Botox® Cosmetic for the treatment of smoothing wrinkles around the eyes are not considered deductible. In addition, you can even write off the cost of transportation to and from the medical provider’s office as well as prescription medications.
The amount of money you are able to write off depends on the total amount of medical expenses you have at the end of the year. To get your deduction, you must itemize and the expenses you have incurred must exceed 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income (or 10% if you are subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax).
For example, if your Adjusted Gross Income is $50,000, your medical expenses must be greater than $3750 to qualify. For this example we will say that medical expenses were $5000 for the year ($3500 for LASIK and $1500 for orthodontia). You would be able to take a deduction of $1250. That means a potentially healthier tax refund!
Flexible Spending Accounts
A Flexible spending account (FSA) is an account offered through employers that allow employees to set aside a specific amount of money for medical expenses. The benefit of using an FSA is that the money set aside is tax-free. This increases your table income and spendable income and typically equates to a 20-30% savings.
Starting in 2013, employers will be forced to limit the amount of money employees can set aside each year to $2500 (this amount has historically been $5000). This means that in 2013, FSA”s will be able to fund half the cost of what they used to, which means less tax savings.
If you are fortunate enough to have money left over in an FSA account, consider using it now. Even if you don’t have an FSA account, the savings you can realize from a tax deduction may make the cost of the procedure more palpable. When put together, both items equate to considerable savings on a procedure that improves the lives of millions each year.
If you have been considering LASIK or PRK, now is the time. We know every budget is different and will work with you to create a plan that works for you. If you would like to schedule a LASIK consultation or if you have questions, give us a call at (919) 876-2427.