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mbbull
New Member

Medical Expense Deductions

My 93 year old mother lives in an Assisted Living facility.  In addition to her rent which is obviously not deductible, I am wondering whether any of the following monthly expenses are deductible:

 

  1. The facility manages her medications giving her the appropriate medications daily.              $580/month
  2. The facility provides Assisted Living Care, which includes: bathing, dressing, transferring between her bed and her wheelchair, general monitoring her status on a regular basis 24/7.                    $6450/month
  3. Laundry Services                                                                                                                                         $60/month

 

So, are any of the above items deductible?

 

Thanks for your help.

3 Replies
Opus 17
Level 15

Medical Expense Deductions

Normally, "nursing services" are deductible as medical expenses. Nursing services are the kind of services usually performed by nurses; they do not have to be performed by an actual nurse.  This includes bathing, transferring, continence services, providing medication and monitoring her health.  It looks like the facility has broken the services down for you; category 1 and 2 appear to be nursing services.  

 

However, if your mother meets certain tests, then all the expenses are deductible, including room and board and laundry. 

1. If she requires care due to a long term illness certified by a doctor, or has a cognitive impairment and requires care so as not to be a danger to herself or others,

2. She requires assistance with 2 or more activities of daily living (activities of daily living are eating, dressing, transferring, toileting, continence, and bathing)

3. Her care is provided according to a care plan that is developed by a professional social worker or medical professional and is reviewed and updated at least annually.

 

So if she is elderly but in generally good health, she is limited to deducting actual medical expenses.  If she has some type of dementia or other chronic illness, and you get a written care plan, you can probably consider the entire amount as a medical expense.

 

Then, who deducts the expenses?  If she files a tax return because she has taxable income, she probably takes the deductions.  But, if you provide more than half her total living support, then you can claim the deduction for the expenses on your tax return. 

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
mbbull
New Member

Medical Expense Deductions

Thank you very much for your quick and elaborate response.

 

I posted the question on her behalf.  I manage all of her finances, including tax returns (I have the appropriate POA).  She currently funds her own expenses.  So I am asking on behalf of her tax return which I will fill out once all of the required 1099's etc. come in.  I am just trying to get a jump on things with my question.

 

My mother can definitely no longer care for herself, and I am not able to care for her either.  That is why we moved her into an Assisted Living facility.  Based on all of the services the facility provides for her, and your feedback, it sounds like these expenses should qualify.  I will investigate a bit further between now and when I submit her return.

 

Thanks.

Opus 17
Level 15

Medical Expense Deductions


@mbbull wrote:

 

My mother can definitely no longer care for herself, and I am not able to care for her either.  That is why we moved her into an Assisted Living facility.  Based on all of the services the facility provides for her, and your feedback, it sounds like these expenses should qualify.  I will investigate a bit further between now and when I submit her return.

 

Thanks.


The sticking point may be the requirement for a written plan of care.  If no written plan of care exists, then she can only deduct the part of the expenses that are nursing services.  But if a care plan was prepared now, her 2021 expenses would be fully deductible.   (And then the care plan must be reviewed at least once a year and updated if necessary.)

 

You will want to read this,

https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc502

 

and this,

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf

 

Without a written plan of care, you are dealing with "nursing expenses" on page 12, but with a written plan of care, see "long term care" on page 11. 

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
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