The change comes after the courts ruled in favour of Rhiannon O’Donnabhain, born a man and the father of three, who fought the Internal Revenue Service for 10 years to deduct the $5,000 he incurred from his surgery.
When the case was first filed the IRS considered the procedure cosmetic, but officials formally notified the Tax Court earlier this month that it would abide by its 2010 decision to consider the surgery a medical procedure.
The O’Donnabhain case represents just one of 1,000 cases per year. The procedure costs more than tens of thousands dollars and isn’t usually covered by insurance, according to the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association.
Some in the tax court disagree with the decision, however, as judge Mark V. Holmes wrote that considering transgender surgery a medical expense puts “our court into culture wars in which tax lawyers have heretofore claimed non combatant status.”
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