What part of assisted living costs can be deducted for tax purposes?

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Is the room and board fee deductible along with the personal care that is charged each month? My mother is there because she cannot cook or take care of her daily personal needs. She has almost no memory left. Thank you.

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This is a complicated answer. FIRST, I'm presuming you're asking if YOU can deduct these expenses on YOUR tax return, would that be correct? If so, please read on.

THEN, In order for you to be able to deduct the expenses, your mom would have to be your dependent. In order for your mom to be your dependent, whether she actually lives with you or not, would be determined by whether you provide 50 percent or more of her support. You can calculate that using what she might be receiving in some kind of benefits (SS or VA, etc.) and what you personally pay out of pocket to the facility as well as her other personal needs. IF this test is true, you (& your spouse if filing jointly) can claim her as a dependent and get that deduction right there.

NEXT, this type of payment is deducted on Schedule A, under medical expenses. So this means you have to (1) itemize your deductions and (2) the amount is subject to a further medical exclusion amount.

FINALLY, it can only be taken under medical expenses of Schedule A if the person is there for MEDICAL and not PERSONAL reasons. In your profile, you say you are caring for your mom with age-related decline. Getting older and not wanting to cook, etc., I would think would be a personal reason for being in AL.

HOWEVER, when you say your mom has almost no memory left, this sounds like dementia, which is a medical condition that requires her to be cared for. Understand the difference? I would think you'd want a letter from the doctor indicating your moms condition that predated when you put her in AL and started paying. If she was already in AL before the dementia was diagnosed, those payments would probably not qualify for deduction.

You can do a little research about your own specific case by going to irs.gov and looking for publication 502. I hope this helps. Please let me know if I can clarify anything more for you.
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A good chunk of the costs can be deducted. Ask the ALF to provide an info sheet and seek input from your tax advisor.
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