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We’re banking on it: keep the medical expense deduction in tax code

Dear Editor,

My wife and I have heard stated that “itemized deductions” are to be reviewed/revised/eliminated. Mortgage expenses and charitable donations are to remain “untouched.” No such assurances have been mentioned pertaining to medical expenses, property taxes, or state and local income and sales taxes.

I am a retired federal employee.  Looking at 2016 shows that approximately 32 percent of my federal annuity, which I paid into for 30 years, went to pay for Medicare, health insurance, medical and dental expenses, prescriptions, and long-term care insurance policies.  During 2016 property taxes ate up an additional 4 percent of my federal annuity. During 2016 state and local sales taxes consumed an additional 5 percent of my federal annuity.  Added together, medical expenses, property taxes and sales taxes constituted 41 percent of my federal annuity.  We file long form which provides some tax relief at the federal level and entitles us to an adjustment to Missouri state income tax levied on civil service pensions and social security payments.

Will the proposed adjustment to the “Standard Exemption” give my wife and I the $4,000 savings being promised under current proposed changes to the federal income tax system?  I really doubt it.  We will lose again.

I spent most of my career paying off my home mortgage, only to have that financial drain replaced by medical expenses.  I believe that, if the medical expenses deduction is removed from the tax code, it will greatly impact us seniors (could this be construed to be discrimination on the basis of age?).

My wife and I strongly oppose the elimination of the medical expense deduction from the tax code due to the financial burden it would place on those senior citizens that have paid off their home loans.

Sincerely,

Eric Bahl

Independence

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