Support she provides herself includes her social security benefit and her pension, even if they are not counted as taxable income in her situation. (And whether she owes income tax depends on the amount of the pension. She is not automatically tax-free, you have to check the math.)
Hi Criter-3 -- thanks for the reply. Just wanted to double-check your answer that social security does apply toward the income calculation (with a limit of $4300; $358.33/month). I would think the vast majority of the elderly population would be collecting social security. And the average s.s. check is $1666.49/month ($20k/yr). If this were true, it would seem almost no one could claim an elderly parent as a dependent. Does this sound right?
The $4300 figure (it’s probably $4400 for 2022 but we haven’t seen the forms yet) refers to taxable income. If the elderly parent has more than $4300 of taxable income, then no one else can claim them as a dependent. Social Security is not taxable income if it is their only income. Social Security may be taxable depending on the amount of a person’s other income.
However, even if Social Security does not count as taxable income for the income test, it still counts as support the person provides themself for the support test.
Hi Opus 17,
Thanks for the reply. Okay, the picture is getting a little clearer... So it appears there are two tests for declaring my mom as a dependent (let me know if I'm off):
1. Taxable income must be less than the limit ($4300 for 2021)
2. Support income (which may include S.S. and other income) must be less than the support provided by me.
If these tests are met, then I can claim her as a dependent and the support provided by me can count toward the medical expense deduction.
I saw this article on the subject:
According to the article, even if test #1 above is not met (and I cannot claim my mom as a dependent), that I can still count the $ provided by me for my mom's care toward my medical deduction as long as #2 is met. Does this sound right?