June 6, 2018

Dental Tax Tip: Massage Therapy Deduction

Are you in constant discomfort? Have you visited a chiropractor or medical professional for some form of occupational relief? No one likes being in pain or the costs that can come from medical treatment. Luckily, there are tax strategies that associate with the costs of getting well. When you feel physically well you’re happier. You’re better with patients and staff. You practice better. You’re a better dentist. Take care of yourself and let us help take care of your taxes.

The Physical Toll of Dentistry

Being a dentist is back-breaking work. Literally. I’m sure any CPA you’ve had encourages you to keep records and receipts. Much like grade school, a note from the doctor can save you a mountain of headaches! As many of you know, dentists will typically experience lower back pain and other ailments associated with being hunched over for hours on end. Medicines along with pain management and massage therapy all fall under “occupational relief”. Occupational relief is a very real thing and a very real tax deduction. To begin taking advantage of massage therapy deductions, you must visit a physician. Massage therapy is the main activity we see our clients taking advantage of. Water therapy (aqua) has also started to trend in alleviating back and muscle pain.


The IRS will scrutinize medical expenses, so be sure you have documentation. The IRS definition of medical expenses are the costs associated with the “diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body.” The main way to differentiate what is and isn’t acceptable in this case is whether you’re using your massage as a form of physical therapy versus simple relaxation. As long as the prescribing doctor states that any medicine, medical equipment, or physical/massage therapy is a necessary part of your rehabilitation program, you should be ok. Be sure to keep your tax records for at least seven years after your taxes are filed as all periods of limitations will have run out by the end of that period. Again, keep your receipts and notes. Everything. Every medical diagnosis and prescription. Every treatment receipt. Every medicine. Everything. The best way to defend yourself and survive or prevent an audit is to keep meticulous records. It may seem like a headache, but not having the paperwork when you need it is even more of a headache. Trust us!

We at Engage Advisors know dentistry and we know dentists. We know the blood, sweat, and tears that go into making your practice successful. You do not have to suffer if you’re feeling physical pain due to your occupation. Therapy and pain management can bring relief, however, the out-of-pocket expenses should be accounted for when completing your year-end taxes. Chat with a Profit Advisor on our homepage today.