The U.S. Tax Court has ruled in favor of a Massachusetts taxpayer whose deduction for her sex change operation was rejected by the Internal Revenue Service.

Rhiannon G. O’Donnabhain, a 65-year-old civil engineer who was born Robert Donovan, sued the IRS after it disallowed the $5,679 medical expense deduction she took on her 2001 taxes for the $21,741 she had spent on hormone therapy, sex reassignment and breast augmentation surgery. The IRS disallowed the deduction, claiming the surgery was merely cosmetic and not surgically necessary.

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