IRS rules general health and wellness expenses are NOT medical expenses

  • March 11, 2024
  • ShindelRock

 IRS has recently said that personal expenses—things like food and general wellness purchases—are not deductible or reimbursable under health flexible spending or reimbursement arrangements, health savings accounts, or medical savings accounts.

The warning comes after what the IRS said were “aggressive marketing” campaigns indicating such expenses were covered.  Some claim that notes from doctors based merely on self-reported health information can convert non-medical food, wellness and exercise expenses into medical expenses, but this documentation actually doesn’t. Such a note would not establish that an otherwise personal expense satisfies the requirement that it be related to a targeted diagnosis-specific activity or treatment; these types of personal expenses do not qualify as medical expenses.

The IRS encourages taxpayers with questions to review the frequently asked questions on medical expenses related to nutrition, wellness and general health to determine whether a food or wellness expense is a medical expense.  If you have further questions, please contact a ShindelRock tax professional.