Transition Now Tax Deductible, But Who Counts?

The US Tax courts ruled transitional care tax deductible yesterday in response to a case O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner. The ruling reverses the IRS’s position set in a 2005 decision to not count gender identity-related care as a non-taxable medical expense. (Chief Counsel Advice 200603025).

An 8-judge majority held that:

  • “TP’s (I assume stands for trans patient/person) gender identity disorder is a “disease” within the meaning of  § 213(d)(1)(A) & (9)(B).
  • TP’s hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery were for the treatment of disease within the meaning of  § 213(d)(1)(A) & (9)(B), and thus not “cosmetic surgery” excluded from the definition of deductible “medical care” by § 213(d)(9)(A).
  • TP’s breast augmentation surgery was directed at improving her appearance did not meaningfully promote the proper function of her body or treat disease within the meaning of § 213(d)(9)(B), and thus was “cosmetic surgery” excluded from the definition of deductible “medical care” by § 213(d)(9)(A).”

This is indeed good news, but what does it mean? You know if anyone is gonna complain about a good thing its gonna be me. So, here it is.

The statement declares that “male-to-female gender reassignment surgery” may be included as a deductible medical expense. I can’t help but be curious about those who are not transitioning from a male sex. I’m sure it would apply, its just always so noticeable when only one part of our community is listed. Breast augmentation isn’t covered because it is called “cosmetic” but what about chest reconstruction/breast removal? Is transmasculine top surgery somehow more important to fragile trans mentalities than having some boobs you really love? I am curious.

I willingly admit to pretty much never be satisfied with anything society has given us so far. I try not to think of it as me being negative, its just me having high standards, you know, like others may give up on being treated “decently” for what they are, but I want to be treated like a legitimate human regardless of what I am.

My dear friend Helen has alerted me to a conference call regarding this, which takes place tonight. Information can be found here or at her blog en|Gender.

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