Washington (May 15, 2003) -- The Internal Revenue Service has just issued two revenue rulings which clarify the tax treatment of a number of medical expenses: nonprescription drugs recommended by a doctor; nonprescription equipment, supplies, or diagnostic devices; breast reconstruction surgery; vision correction surgery; and teeth whitening procedures.

The law limits the deduction for medicine or drugs to insulin and those drugs that require a prescription. Even when recommended by a doctor, medicines available over-the-counter are not deductible. However, the IRS says, this limitation does not apply to other nonprescription items, such as bandages, crutches, thermometers, or blood sugar test kits. If otherwise qualifying as related to medical care, such items are deductible.

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