Can You Deduct a Hot Tub?

This Question was Originally Submitted to THE MIDCOAST MONEY MEMO, hosted by Eric Simonds CFP®.  The Midcoast Money Memo Runs Each Saturday on Radio 9 WCME.
Listen LIVE,  24-hours a day, to WCME on Tunein Radio.


Q:  (Woolwich, Maine) Under what situations are a personal hot tub tax deductible?  I have a bad back and when I was a kid, one of my friend’s mother had a hot tub and said the government paid for it.  Please site the tax code,  if applicable, as I would like to tell my tax guy about it.

A:  First things first, it is probably easiest to find an accountant who drives a custom van with a “If this van is a rockin’ don’t come knocking” bumper sticker because in my experience I have found that those guys know a great deal about two things… hot tubs and hot tub related tax strategies.

Seriously, it is technically possible for a personal hot tub to be tax deducible if it serves a specific medical purpose.  That purpose must be defendable and is required to be diagnosed by a licensed medical doctor.  Specifically, expenses for almost any medical equipment which are necessary for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body are deductible subject to an income limitation.

Be advised, following the above guidelines would suggest that you most likely would NOT be able to deduct a hot tub that many people could use, it would most likely need to be a small tub… This is no doubt disappointing or as the aforementioned “Custom Van Driving Accountant” would describe it as a “Buzz Kill”.

The above is based on and referenced in IRC Section 213(D)(1)(A).

This and many other of life’s mysteries are addressed on the Midcoast Money Memo… CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.


Eric Simonds has a passion for helping others. Over the past 12 years, Eric has gained his skills and credentials through both private and public sector careers in policy and compliance. This experience, in addition to his Masters of Financial Planning from Golden Gate University, allows him to provide quality financial planning to all Maine families through Saltwater Harbor. Eric takes great pride in operating his own financial planning practice, knowing he makes a difference in the lives of his clients. His motivation for success is fueled by his clients’ accomplishments and ability to achieve their financial dreams with his guidance.

Eric is both a 2011 National Huguenot Scholarship recipient and the sole 2012 National Association Professional Financial Advisors Merit Scholar. In addition to his Masters in Financial Planning, Eric also holds Bachelor degrees from both the University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine. Highly involved in his local community and family, he resides in Brunswick with his wonderful wife, Kate, their two amazing sons, two naughty dogs and a cat.