Just so you know, this not an update on Hope. I will do that soon…I hope. Anyway….
I do our taxes. I have since our first year of marriage. No, that’s wrong. Since our first month. We got married in December.
Anyway, I do our taxes, and we don’t do the simple filing. I itemize, so I’ve gotten pretty used to dealing with the tax hoopla.
This year is new.
This is the first year we’ve had enough to file medical expenses.
Whoa. A whole new territory.
Needless to say, I’ve consulted a few people for advice.
I have read the ENTIRE IRS Publication 502 on Medical and Dental expenses…more than once AND spoke with said knowledgeable people. I was still left with some questions because tax documents are always “so clear,” right?.
Here’s the deal. Our electricity bill increased by a very large amount starting right from the time that Hope came home with all her medical equipment. I was led to believe I might be able to deduct some of it as a medical expense. I also needed to know whether the distilled water for her nebulizer and vinegar used to clean her equipment was deductable as well. Not totally crazy right?
With no one else to ask, and on the advice of one of those knowledgeable people, I did the only thing left to do – I called the IRS helpline.
A desperate act, I know.
I called and I waited….
…and filled out other paperwork…
…and had a phone conversation with my mom on the other phone…
…on hold for a minimum of 15 MINUTES for a representative in the SPECIFIC area of medical and dental expenses.
Finally, I asked her my question. *sigh of relief* To which she responds, “I’ll need to consult Publication 502. Hold please.”
What?!?! Are you kidding me?! The whole reason I waited 15 minutes was for an EXPERT – someone with definitive answers. If you work for the IRS and are answering calls IN that specific subject area, shouldn’t you be knowledgeable about it?
SHE couldn’t even give me an absolute definite answer – only an answer based on that somewhat vague publication and a couple of ridiculous questions (“Um, is it used to cure a disease or illness?”).
She then, of course, had the audacity to act like I AM STUPID.
Apparently, according to this woman, “Everyone uses electricity and it goes up and down for blah, blah, blah bitty blah…and IT isn’t ‘curing or treating a disease.’ The equipment is, but the electricity is not.” Thank you for clarifying that m’lady.
I tried to ask about the other things, but decided to find those answers elsewhere.
Oh, and don’t even bring up meals while caring for a child in the hospital because “EVERYBODY EATS.” Yep, that’s the answer. They pay for lodging. I guess not everybody sleeps, but everybody eats.
My husband’s response to the story? “Don’t take it personally. She works for the IRS.”
I guess that’s what I get for doing something everybody does NOT do – paying taxes.