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Monday, January 23, 2006


Under the category "this doesn't come up much, but I think it would be interesting to know," comes the question of deductibility of medical expenses for income tax purposes relating to sex change operations.

Generally, amounts paid for “cosmetic surgery” or other similar procedures can't be taken into account as a medical expense deduction, unless the surgery or procedure is necessary to ameliorate a deformity arising from (or directly related to) a (1) congenital abnormality, (2) personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or (3) disfiguring disease. So where do medical expenses relating to a sex change operation fit?

According to the IRS, without unequivocal expression of Congressional intent, taxpayer's costs for and associated with gender reassignment surgery were held not to constitute medical care for purposes of medical expense deduction under Code Section 213. The IRS believes that gender reassignment surgery is cosmetic in nature, and not shown to be treatment for illness or disease.

Chief Counsel Advice 200603025

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