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Gender Reassignment Surgery Tax Deductible

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The U.S. Tax Court issued a highly anticipated decision about gender reassignment surgery on Tuesday, ruling that treatment is tax-deductible.

The decision, O'Donnabhain v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, reasoned that gender identity disorder qualifies as medical care and procedures to deal with it are tax-deductible. The case involved Rhiannon O'Donnabhain, a 64-year-old transgender woman disallowed a $5,000 tax deduction because the IRS said her gender reassignment surgery was cosmetic.

According to a news release from Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, which represented O'Donnabhain, the decision sets a precedent.

"In an opinion reviewed by the full bench, the United States Tax Court affirmed that medical treatments for GID, including surgery and hormone therapy, are deductible medical expenses," said GLAD. "Moreover, the court stated that the IRS's position that such treatment is cosmetic in nature 'is at best a superficial characterization of the circumstances that is thoroughly rebutted by the medical evidence.'"

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