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Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/health insurance deduction for self employed


I am self employed and have my own health insurance policy. My wife was not working and on COBRA all of 2012. She helps with my business but we are not officially business partners.

Do you know if the IRS self-employed health insurance deduction is disallowed for my wife's premiums because we had separate policies? COBRA is not employer subsidized and my business is profitable so I'm fine there.

IRS form 535 says, "For self­ employed individuals filing a Schedule C, C­EZ, or F, a policy can be ei­ther in the name of the business or in the name of the individual."

It doesn't specify anything about separate policies.


Thanks for your question.

No, you cannot deduct the COBRA payments as self-employed health insurance.  As a matter of fact, they would not be deductible even if it was insurance on you.  The IRS position is that COBRA is health insurance provided through the previous employer and not eligible for the deduction.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

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John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

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