Question: My mother is 87 years old and lives in an assisted living facility, which cost about $4,000 per month. She has no assets to speak of and very little income, i.e. she has a small monthly Social Security check and a very small monthly pension. I have been paying for her care in the assisted living facility. Is there anyway that my husband and I can deduct what we pay for mom’s medical care in the assisted living facilty on our individual income tax returns? Please provide your answer as soon as possible because we are about to file our 2012 individual income tax returns.
Answer: Yes, a child can deduct medical expenses that they paid on behalf of their parent (even if the parent doesn’t qualify as one of their dependents, doesn’t live with them and has a gross income that exceeds $3,800 (for tax year 2012)) if the child provided over half of the parent’s total support during the tax year. Assuming that the child paid more than 50% of their parent’s total support during this tax year, then the medical expenses paid on the parent’s behalf in excess of 7.5% of the child’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) are deductible on the child’s individual income tax returns as itemized deductions.
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