Can you claim your sauna purchase as a tax deduction?

Oh goody…! It’s almost time to pay taxes (said no one ever). Yes, it’s true—April 15th is just around the corner, and it’s time to collect all those files and pieces of paper and get them to the tax preparer to make sure you’ve got everything covered when you file.

Here’s a question we often get about hot tubs (which we’ve reported on before) that is also getting asked more and more by sauna users: Can I claim my sauna purchase as a tax deduction?

The key to this is whether your doctor feels that your sauna is helping alleviate a medical issue for you and can actually be counted as a medical device in your treatment.

We would direct folks once again to IRS Publication 502 which outlines deductions that can be claimed for medical expenses. The specific statement to note:

“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.”

Conditions that your doctor may consider prescribing ongoing sauna use as a viable treatment:

  • Chemical detoxification
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  • Arthritis
  • Migraines

Note—Your tax preparer is the expert at what can and cannot be claimed as a deduction for your filing! If you do have a chronic medical condition that a sauna could help alleviate (or your hot tub for that matter), do bring this to their attention and seek advice on whether it can be a legitimate deduction for you.

Good luck with your tax filing—and your health!