Can a hot tub purchase be claimed as a deduction on your taxes?

We get this question from time to time. And, since we’re in the height of tax season and everyone has to get their taxes submitted by that magical date of April 15th, we felt this a timely subject to discuss.

If your doctor has recommended hot water therapy for chronic medical issues or another event that has caused physical trauma, you may be able to claim part of your hot tub purchase as a medical deduction. Some conditions that may be eligible for deductions:

  • Back pain or other conditions that are relieved by hot water soaking/therapy
  • Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
  • Injuries suffered in a car accident
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  • Fibromyalgia

There may be others we have not listed here. Check with your doctor regarding your specific situation.

The key here is that your doctor must prescribe hot water therapy and/or the use of a hot tub for mitigation of symptoms, pain and to aid in your recovery process. This is important in order to have your hot tub purchase qualify as a tax deduction.

A valuable reference regarding this is IRS Publication 502. A key excerpt from this publication:

“Medical expenses are the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body. These expenses include payments for legal medical services rendered by physicians, surgeons, dentists, and other medical practitioners. They include the costs of equipment, supplies, and diagnostic devices needed for these purposes.


Medical care expenses must be primarily to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental defect or illness.”

Our hope is that you are not so sick that you’d have to consider exploring your hot tub as a tax deduction. However, if you do suffer from a chronic health condition, or have suffered some significant injury and your doctor has endorsed the use of hot tub as part of your active therapy and recovery, it would be worth a discussion with your tax preparer to see if part of your hot tub purchase can be a valid deduction.