Can You Deduct a Hot Tub?

This Question was Originally Submitted to THE MIDCOAST MONEY MEMO, hosted by Eric Simonds CFP®. The Midcoast Money Memo Runs Each Saturday

April 19, 2016

Q: (Woolwich, Maine) Under what situations are a personal hot tub tax deductible? I have a bad back and when I was a kid, one of my friend’s mother had a hot tub and said the government paid for it. Please site the tax code, if applicable, as I would like to tell my tax guy about it.

Hot Tub Hot Dog Fest

The Accountant Is the Guy Sitting on The "Thunder Jet"™.

A: First things first, it is probably easiest to find an accountant who drives a custom van with a "If this van is a-rockin' don't come knocking" bumper sticker, because in my experience I have found that those guys know a great deal about two things… hot tubs and hot tub-related tax strategies.

Seriously, it is technically possible for a personal hot tub to be tax deducible if it serves a specific medical purpose. That purpose must be defensible and is required to be diagnosed by a licensed medical doctor. Specifically, expenses for almost any medical equipment which are necessary for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body are deductible subject to an income limitation.

Be advised, following the above guidelines would suggest that you most likely would NOT be able to deduct a hot tub that many people could use, it would most likely need to be a small tub… This is no doubt disappointing or as the aforementioned "Custom Van Driving Accountant" would describe it as a "Buzz Kill".

The above is based on and referenced in IRS Section 213(D)(1)(A).

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Eric Simonds is a Portland, Maine Fee-Only Financial Planner located in Brunswick, ME and serving clients across the country. Saltwater Harbor Financial LLC specializes in providing objective financial planning, in accordance with the fiduciary standard, to help clients build, manage, grow, and protect their assets through life transitions. Eric Simonds is a NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional and has been admitted to the Paladin Registry.

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