Question: I recently relocated my elderly mom from New York to Virginia. She is living in an assisted living facility. She still has her home in NY where two apartment rents help to pay for her assisted living room rent, prescriptions, incontinence care, etc. The rest of her care fees come out of her savings. Is her assisted living rent deductible on her tax return?
Answer: Although I am not a CPA, my understanding is that the IRS may allow her to deduct the cost of assisted living rent as a medical expense if your mother needs assistance due to a chronic illness. IRS publication 502 defines chronically ill as being unable to perform 2 or more activities of daily living without substantial assistance or if the person needs substantial supervision due to a cognitive impairment. From what you described, it appears as though she would be able to deduct her assisted living costs as a medical expense. However, her total medical expenses must exceed 7.5% of her adjusted gross income in order to be deductable.
I would recommend that you keep all receipts from the assisted living community, as well as receipts for all other medical expenses that your mother incurs during the year. Then talk with your tax preparer to make sure that you take advantage of all the available deductions.
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Angela N. Manz, Attorney at Law
The Law Firm of Angela N. Manz
Virginia Beach, VA 23452