Except for the permanent corporate tax cut, most provisions in the 2017 tax cut legislation expire after 2025 with one notable exception: the medical expense deduction.
Beginning in 2019, the deduction for qualified medical expenses is limited to expenses that exceed 10% of a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income, up from 7.5% for the 2017 and 2018 tax years.
The provision “is likely to affect older taxpayers because they tend to have high medical expenses,” said Mary Johnson, a Social Security policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League, in a statement. “A less generous health cost deduction could mean higher taxable income next year.”
With that in mind, Johnson suggests that taxpayers who have been postponing medical or dental services or filling new eyeglass prescriptions or expensive drug prescriptions consider taking care of those services and prescriptions before this year ends to maximize medical expenses and potentially qualify for the current 7.5% deduction threshold.
The 10% threshold that becomes effective for the 2019 tax year was scheduled to take effect in 2017 — an increase from 7.5% in 2016 and previous years for taxpayers 65 and older — but was temporarily delayed by the tax cut legislation.