Saturday, October 15, 2011

"Gender Reassignment" Costs and the Tax Code

The United States Tax Court held last year that "gender identity disorder" is a disease and that the costs of hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery were medical expenses under Code section 213(a), thus qualifying for an income tax deduction and, if a third party pays those expenses, exclusion from the gift tax. (However, the court held that the cost of breast augmentation surgery was not covered because there was a lack of evidence in the case in question that such surgery treated the taxpayer's gender disorder.)

Here's a post on the case at the TaxProg blog. There is a link to the actual Tax Court opinion at that post.

Perhaps this strikes you as outrageous. Perhaps not. But this is simply another example of social engineering that is all over the Internal Revenue Code, its Regulations, and the court cases that apply the Code. We can differ, of course, on whether the engineering is benign or not in a given case. But why should there be any at all, since so much of it (if not all of it) is value driven? Let's get such engineering out of the Code, both "good" and "bad."

But what about the charitable deduction I get for my tithe? My mortgage deduction? What about the pastor's housing allowance? Etc.

What about it, I say. Why should all Americans, regardless of regious affiliation or none at all, subsidize my religious choices? Or renters my housing choices?

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