A question we hear repeatedly from families during tax season is whether or not senior care expenses qualify for a tax deduction. Sometimes the senior pays the entire cost of care on their own, and other times adult children pitch in to help. While we aren’t tax advisors, we did want to take time to share a few resources that might help you find the answers you need.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Rules for Senior Care Tax Deductions
There are two primary publications that can help you learn more about this very confusing area of tax law:
- IRS Tax Publication 502: Medical and Dental Expenses outlines the rules and regulations about what are considered to be medical care expenses, the threshold you must meet (currently 10%), and more. It also discusses how to determine if a parent to whom you provide financial assistance meets the legal standard to be considered a “qualifying relative” you can claim as a deduction.
- IRS Tax Publication 503: Child and Dependent Care Expenses elaborates on who is considered to be a qualifying person, the test to claim tax credit, expenses you can deduct if a spouse is unable to care for themselves, and more.
Because this part of the tax code is fairly complicated, we recommend you seek the advice of a tax preparer with experience in senior care.
Free Tax Preparation Assistance for Seniors
If an older adult you love needs a little help preparing their taxes, there are several reliable options to consider.
- AARP Foundation Tax-Aide: This free tax program is open to all seniors, and not just those who are members of AARP. They have 5,000 locations across the country to help older adults prepare their taxes.
- Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE): Another free tax assistance program, this one is offered through the IRS. Preference is given to people over the age of 60. IRS-certified volunteers provide one-on-one assistance at local sites across the country, often in conjunction with the AARP Foundation sites. Search for a TCE site near you online →
Senior Living Funding Solutions
Research shows that 70% of people over the age of 65 will need some type of long-term care during their lifetime. It might be a rehab stay at a skilled nursing center to recover from an illness or surgery, or a memory care community to allow a senior with dementia to live their best life despite the disease. Whatever the situation, we know understanding financing options can feel overwhelming.
We created this guide to help you explore financing options ranging from Veteran’s benefits to using long-term care insurance to pay for assisted living. Download your complimentary copy of Senior Living Funding Solutions today!