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IRS issues warning to people filing taxes in 2024

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  • Staff Report 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a caution to taxpayers and health plan administrators regarding the deduction of general health and wellness expenses during this tax season. In a recent announcement, the IRS emphasized that personal expenditures on weight loss and similar wellness activities do not qualify as deductible medical expenses. This clarification comes amidst concerns over misleading marketing practices that suggest otherwise. IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel highlighted the importance of adhering to the legal framework, distinguishing between legitimate medical expenses and non-qualifying personal health expenditures.

The agency specifically warned against claims that a doctor’s note based on self-reported health information could make non-medical nutritional or wellness programs reimbursable medical expenses. According to IRS guidelines, such notes do not support the classification of these costs as medical expenses, firmly establishing them as personal expenditures. This stance aims to correct misconceptions and prevent misuse of health flexible spending arrangements and similar health spending plans.

Furthermore, as part of its guidance for the current tax season, the IRS reminded taxpayers of the necessity to report all forms of income, including earnings from digital assets and activities in the gig economy. The warning also addressed viral social media content regarding the reporting of illegal income, underscoring the IRS’s commitment to comprehensive income reporting. This year, the IRS introduced Direct File in 12 states, offering a free tax filing service to enhance accessibility and compliance.

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