Some aspiring parents see in vitro fertilization, or IVF, as their only shot at having a child. The process isn't cheap: The Reuters news service says one cycle of IVF treatment costs couples, on average, more than $19,000 in out-of-pocket expenses. Some of that money may be tax deductible if you itemize deductions. The Internal Revenue Service specifically lists IVF as a valid medical write-off in Publication 502.
All the in vitro fertilization costs you paid for during the tax year are potentially deductible. It doesn't matter when you received the treatment, only when you paid for it. Paying for your spouse's IVF, or a dependent's treatment, also qualifies for a write-off. Dependents include children and siblings who meet the IRS qualifications. Your sister's IVF, for example, might qualify if you pay for it and also pay more than half of her support.
In addition to the bills from the fertility doctor, you can include the cost of driving to IVF appointments. At the time of publication, the per-mile rate is 23 cents. You can also write off the cost of air or train trips if you have to travel to another city for your treatments. The IRS says you can also deduct up to $50 a night for lodging, provided the stay is necessary for the medical treatment and there's no mixing of business and pleasure in the trip.
Taking the Write-off
You can only write off medical expenses if you itemize. Keep track of your IVF and other qualifying medical bills through the year. When you start work on your taxes, total the bills up. Subtract any reimbursement you received, whether from your insurer, a workplace program or some other source. Next calculate your adjusted gross income. Take 10 percent of your AGI and subtract it from the total medical expenses. Whatever remains is what you can deduct.
Tax laws can change at any time. Before making out your return, always check that your information is up to date. For example, the cutoff point for medical expenses for years was 7.5 percent, but that changed to 10 percent starting in 2013. In the same year, Congress considered legislation that would have allowed prospective parents to take a tax credit for infertility treatment, but the bill didn't make it out of committee. If the bill eventually passes Congress, you could write off IVF costs even if you don't itemize deductions.