In Vitro Fertilization as a Medical Deduction?

Posted by Lee Reams Sr., BSME, EA on

The cost of In vitro fertilization treatment is expensive. Can the payments be deducted as a medical expense and can payments be made from a Flexible Spending Account for In vitro fertilization treatments? 

Any expense that is allowed as a medical deduction is a qualified expense for a flexible spending account (FSA). Thus, if in vitro fertilization treatments are a legitimate medical expense then they can be paid from a flexible spending account (FSA).  

Although not specifically addressed in the Code, Regs, etc., it would appear that vitro fertilization treatments would be deductible if performed on the taxpayer claiming the expense. The code specifically allows procedures that affect the structure or function of the body. (Code Sec 213(d)(1)(A)) It also would be allowed under discretionary surgery performed on the taxpayer. Discretionary medical costs are generally deductible where they are not illegal under Federal law. For example, abortions, vasectomies, and procedures to render the taxpayer incapable of getting pregnant have been held deductible. (Rev Rul 97-9, 73-201 & 73-603) According to IRS Pub. 502 the costs of procedures to overcome an inability to have children are qualified medical expenses. Such procedures include in vitro fertilization (including temporary storage of sperm or eggs) and surgery, including surgery to reverse a prior operation performed to prevent the person from having children.

In Vitro Fertilization Expenses Denied in Absence of Medical Condition A taxpayer was denied a medical expense deduction for in vitro fertilization (IVF) expenses. He was a fertile man who used IVF for non-medical reasons. He had no physical or mental condition that prevented him from procreating without the use of IVF technologies. (W. Magdalin, TC Memo. 2008-293, Dec. 57,629(M)) Subsequently confirmed in appeals.