Dear Liz: A couple I’ve known for years recently adopted 2-year-old twins. Both will need considerable medical care, as they were born to a drug-addicted mother. In sending out announcements, my friends suggested sending funds for the twins’ medical needs, rather than toys. I took note and sent a check earmarked for their healthcare. My question is: Can I include the gift in my own medical deduction for this year’s income taxes?
Answer: No. Only medical expenses paid for yourself, your spouse and your dependents typically qualify for the medical expense deduction on your income tax returns.
The expense isn’t a charitable deduction either. Contributions have to be made to qualified charities to be deductible, and individuals don’t qualify.