Josh Hunter Updated 10/31/18 10:42 AM
There’s good news this holiday season ... from the IRS. People who receive laser eye surgery may be able to deduct it from their taxes. The IRS recognizes LASIK as a valid medical expense under code 213, so it may be used as a tax deduction.
The procedure is also reimbursable under flexible spending accounts, or FSAs, which allow workers to set aside pre-tax income to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses. In other words, you can enjoy the benefits of LASIK using tax-free dollars.
On top of that, the Internal Revenue Service may allow you to deduct travel expenses to and from the LASIK clinic. Even if you drive your own car to the LASIK surgeon’s office, you may be allowed to deduct your fuel expenses.
In most cases, money put into FSAs does not roll over from one year to the next. As a result, most patients opt to undergo LASIK late in the year so the money is not forfeited.
“LASIK is a great way to use the remaining FSA dollars in your account before the end of the year,” says Dr. Joel Hunter, founder of Hunter Vision, Central Florida’s newest, world-class refractive eye surgery center.
Additionally, LASIK typically pays for itself in a few years. Glasses, prescription sunglasses, contact lenses and supplies are expensive and usually need replacing every one to two years. Annual visits to the eye doctor average $125, not to mention the hassle and expense of contact lenses.
“It’s an investment in your health that not only improves your quality of life, but actually pays for itself over time,” Dr. Hunter explains.
As with any investment, you have to weigh your options carefully.
Dr. Hunter concludes, “It’s not uncommon for discount LASIK providers to provide ‘discounts’ in lieu of investing in new technology. Choose a practice that focuses on safety, diagnostic technology and post-operative follow-up. If you’re going to trust someone with something as important as your vision, then you should go in with your eyes open.”
To find out more about whether you qualify to use LASIK as a tax deduction, contact a tax consultant. To learn more about setting up an FSA, as well as what your estimated income tax savings might be, speak with your company’s benefits manager.
ABOUT HUNTER VISION
Hunter Vision uses the ALLEGRETTO WAVE® Eye-Q excimer laser with wavefront optimized technology. Its high-speed eye-tracker follows the eye’s fastest movements, checking the eye’s position hundreds of times per second while ensuring an accurate placement of each laser pulse on the cornea.
Located in Orlando, Hunter Vision specializes in premier, bladeless SBK-LASIK eye surgery, cataract surgery and premium lens replacement. It is home to the Hunter Vision Analysis, a comprehensive, tech-advanced eye exam unlike any other.