Tuition paid for a school focused on treating learning disabilities can be classified as a medical expense, according to a private letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service.Like other deductible medical expenses, the original ruling (PLR 2005-21003) found that the cost of tuition is deductible only to the extent that medical expenses for the year cumulatively exceed 7.5 percent of a taxpayer's adjusted gross income.

According to a previous revenue ruling, the distinguishing characteristic of a special school is the “substantive content of its curriculum.” Meaning that while a school can provide ordinary education, that education must be incidental to the school's primary purpose of enabling students to overcome a handicap.

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