Deductible Cosmetic Surgery and the Treatment of Transgenderism: An Analysis of the Medical Expense Deduction Post-O’Donnabhain

32 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2012

See all articles by Eric Smith

Eric Smith

Weber State University (WSU)

Ryan H. Pace

Weber State University (WSU)

Date Written: February 2012

Abstract

In 2010, the United States Tax Court upheld a taxpayer’s deduction for medical expenses arising from gender-reassignment surgery. This article discusses the facts of the O’Donnabhain case and the Tax Court’s holding in light of relevant legislative history, and finds that a new layer of understanding now exists in the context of deductible cosmetic surgery: in a post-O’Donnabhain world, mental (not just physical) diseases may be treated through physical alterations to the body which constitute deductible cosmetic surgery. Based on the Tax Court’s opinion, we posit an algorithm for application of what we consider a fourth case-law created exception to the disallowance of deductions for cosmetic surgery.

Keywords: deductible medical expenses, cosmetic surgery, gender confusion

Suggested Citation

Smith, Eric Steven and Pace, Ryan H., Deductible Cosmetic Surgery and the Treatment of Transgenderism: An Analysis of the Medical Expense Deduction Post-O’Donnabhain (February 2012). 2012 American Taxation Association Midyear Meeting: JLTR Conference. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2003902 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2003902

Eric Steven Smith (Contact Author)

Weber State University (WSU) ( email )

1337 Edvalson Dept 3803
Ogden, UT 84408
United States
(801) 626-6041 (Phone)

Ryan H. Pace

Weber State University (WSU) ( email )

3802 University Circle
Ogden, UT 84408
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
156
rank
185,661
Abstract Views
1,168
PlumX Metrics