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O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue



Victory! On February 2, 2010, the U.S. Tax Court issued an important decision in O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, ruling for the first time that treatment for gender identity disorder qualifies as medical care under the Internal Revenue Code, and is therefore deductible.

Read the Tax Court’s Decision

Ms. O’Donnabhain deducted costs related to her sex reassignment when submitting her federal tax forms in April 2002.  She received her tax refund in June 2002, but six months later she was audited.

Ms. O’Donnabhain contacted GLAD, whose attorneys assisted her in appealing the tax examiner’s decision.  After an initial indication by an Appeals Officer to allow the deduction, the local IRS office decided to seek a decision from Washington. The IRS Chief Counsel issued an Advice Letter on October 14, 2005, once again denying the deduction and the matter progressed to US Tax Court, where trial took place July 24 – August 23, 2007.

Both sides completed filing proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and responses to those submissions in February, 2008.