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Old 12-12-06, 09:59 AM   #1
alanfleisig
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Any Cycling Tax Lawyers Out There?

I have a friend who claims his cardiologist instructed him to take up cycling as treatment.

Consequently, he deducts all his (quite major) bike equipment expenses (including purposefully fitted-out vehicle for transporting and working on bikes) as an unreimbursed health care expense.

Are there any circumstances in which this could possibly be done legitimately?
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Old 12-12-06, 12:59 PM   #2
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First, realize that legal advice over the internet is worth what you paid for it, perhaps less.

The bar for deducting medical expenses straight off of your 1040 is high. Most likely he has a FSA (Flexible Spending Account) or MSA (Medical Savings Account), which allow you to pay for medical expenses with pre-tax dollars. A "physician-prescribed remedial exercise program" for a specific medical condition would qualify for coverage under those plans. But that's not a blank check; it sounds like he is pushing the envelope.
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Old 12-12-06, 01:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanfleisig
I have a friend who claims his cardiologist instructed him to take up cycling as treatment.

Consequently, he deducts all his (quite major) bike equipment expenses (including purposefully fitted-out vehicle for transporting and working on bikes) as an unreimbursed health care expense.

Are there any circumstances in which this could possibly be done legitimately?
I'm not sure I'd want to be audited if I tried that. However, an active, comfortable, lifestyle supplemented by good relationships is very important to one's health. I can just see my tax forms next year:

1) Bikes -- health care expense
2) Anything for the wife -- health care expense (if she's unhappy, enormous stress is added to my life)
3) Dog -- health care expense (helps me relax)
4) Principal on the house -- health care expense. If that ain't paid, I freeze to death.

Come to think of it, everything is a health care expense....
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Old 12-12-06, 02:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by banerjek
I'm not sure I'd want to be audited if I tried that. However, an active, comfortable, lifestyle supplemented by good relationships is very important to one's health. I can just see my tax forms next year:


3) Dog -- health care expense (helps me relax)
Come to think of it, everything is a health care expense....
Can I double dip on the dogs and count them here and also as a home security device?
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Old 12-12-06, 02:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DCCommuter
But that's not a blank check; it sounds like he is pushing the envelope.
And bragging about it too. Not too smart.
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Old 12-12-06, 02:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Keith99
Can I double dip on the dogs and count them here and also as a home security device?
Better yet, put Fido down as a dependent; even better under 17 years old for an additional credit.

Everything is "legal" until you're caught/audited.
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Old 12-12-06, 02:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith99
Can I double dip on the dogs and count them here and also as a home security device?
Seems fair enough.

Unfortunately, according to our insurance agent, a well-trained 85 pound dog does not quality as a security system. Call me crazy, but I'll put my faith in a dog long before I'll trust a couple remotely monitored sensors. About 4 years ago, someone actually tried to get in and got a reception from the canine welcoming committee.

The intruder left minus a size 14 shoe and was captured by the police a few minutes later. The dog chewed the shoe up as a reward, and I am to this day in awe of how ferocious my little sweetie was when she thought my wife and I were in danger. I'd seen her in a couple dogfights with large dogs (Rott/shep mix, lab, etc), but this was on a whole different level.
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Old 12-12-06, 02:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banerjek
Unfortunately, according to our insurance agent, a well-trained 85 pound dog does not quality as a security system.
I've got a well trained 100 pound dog that is about as useful of a security feauture as the doormat. I am pretty sure he greeted some intruders that broke into my parents apartment a few years ago.
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Old 12-12-06, 03:00 PM   #9
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Tell your friend good luck with the audit.
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Old 12-12-06, 03:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banerjek
Come to think of it, everything is a health care expense....
Now that's what I'm talking about!
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Old 12-12-06, 03:33 PM   #11
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You might want to check out this article. Please consult a professional tax advisor, but the guidance from the IRS doesn't look good.
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Old 12-17-06, 06:44 PM   #12
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I doubt deducting everything is legit, but if his cardiologist actually did recommend cycling as a treatment, and its was documented as such, I could imagine maybe, just maybe, the cost of a bike flying, but not all the accessories, etc.
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Old 12-17-06, 07:14 PM   #13
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He can not deduct those expenses, according to the IRS you may deduct the cost of participating in a program for a specified and diagnosed disease (such as a weight-loss program for obesity) however the personal equipment and the food(in the case of the weightloss program) can not be deducted.

Additionally, the total cost of qualified deductions has to be over 7.5% of his AGI before he can deduct any of it.
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Old 12-17-06, 07:35 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by rule
Tell your friend good luck with the audit.
And after that . . .

"Watch out for the corn hole, bud."
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Old 12-17-06, 08:48 PM   #15
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Unreimbursed health expenses have to exceed 5% ( maybe its now 7%) of income to be deductable. An ex-lawyer. bk
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Old 12-18-06, 06:24 AM   #16
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I ran this one by my brother--a current agent--who roared with laughter when he heard this. Be glad my brother doesn't know your friend's name. IRS agents love to audit people like your friend. They are easy pickings.

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