Press Releases

Rep. Porter Leads Bipartisan Effort to Prevent Tax Increases on Families Deducting Medical Expenses

Congresswoman calls on House leadership to lower the threshold for the medical expense tax deduction

Washington, DC, December 6, 2019

Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) today led a bipartisan effort with Republican Congressman Kenny Marchant and 22 colleagues to call on House leaders from both parties to reinstate 7.5% income threshold for deducting medical expenses from federal taxes in year-end legislation. If this income threshold is not reinstated by the end of the year, families currently deducting medical expenses could see their taxes increase next Tax Day. Congresswoman Porter and Congressman Marchant also lead a bill to permanently lower the threshold for medical expense tax deductions.

“Orange County families already paying too much for medical treatment shouldn’t have to face additional costs because of inaction in Congress,” Porter said. “I’m calling on my colleagues to provide relief for Americans with high out-of-pocket medical expenses—particularly older adults, people with disabilities, and people with chronic illnesses.”

“You never know when an unexpected medical expense may come along, which is why the medical expense tax deduction is such a vital provision in our tax code,” said Congressman Marchant. “Making the lower deduction threshold from tax reform permanent is a common sense step, and our letter asks our colleagues to join us in supporting this goal. This easy change would give North Texas families more peace of mind as they make their healthcare decisions.”

Beginning in January 2019, Americans with high healthcare costs can only deduct their medical expenses from their taxes if these expenses exceed 10% of their income. In 2018, the income threshold for deductions was set at 7.5% of income. Congresswoman Porter is urging her colleagues to act before the end of the year to extend the 7.5% income threshold for the medical tax deduction, preventing Americans with high medical costs from seeing their tax bill rise next year. The medical expense tax deduction provides critical relief for Americans by offsetting the cost of serious or chronic illnesses, unexpected sickness or injuries, or long-term care and assisted living.

In their letter, Porter and 23 of her colleagues emphasize, “We write to urge you to prioritize reducing families’ medical expenses as we look towards end-of-year legislation. If Congress does not act by the end of the year, millions of families with high medical costs will see their taxes increase when they file their taxes for this year.”

Porter’s request has the support of AARP, National Council on Aging, Leading Age and 48 other groups advocating for the wellbeing of older adults, people with disabilities, and people with chronic illnesses.

Read the full text of the letter HERE.

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