Are Assisted Living self-pay monthly premiums tax deductible at the end of the year?

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It would seem that the government would allow a portion of Institutional self-pay premiums to be tax deductible. Does anyone know. She has a moderate income under $35K a year.

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In order for room and board expenses to be deductible you do need a doctors letter. It must state that the person needing care must reside in an environment that provides assistance with "IADL's" ( meals, house keeping, linen laundering, transportation) in order to receive assistance with their "ADL's" (bathing, dressing, medications, etc.). This is what links the base rent with care level as a necessary medically related expense.
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My husband has Lewy Body Dementia and I placed him in Assisted Living in 2012. My Accountant advised me to capture all medical costs and to get a letter from the Doctor with his diagnosis. People with certain diagnosis are tax deductible such as Alzheimer's and other cognitive deficiency illnesses. The % may vary by State. Neither facility my husband has been in wanted to give me a % of ALS care was tax deductible so we turned to a state source. The state source gave % based on the license of the facility and on the level of care (activities of daily living). I keep a record of the reports issued by the facility as to the level of care he receives. We have used 40% for the ALS portion in NY for the last 3 years. Other medical costs are 100% including my premium for LTC Insurance. (If you pay for premiums from a Health Care Savings account then you are already getting the tax break so exclude from medical costs.
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Refer to IRS Publication 502 (2013): Medical & Dental Expenses: Long Term Care. For the past 2 years I have been able to claim administration of medications, and extra personal care. My understanding is that you cannot claim basic room and board, but other personal care expenses are deductible. Refer to the above IRS publication.
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Yes, the care or services have to be prescribed by a medical professional. Look at it this way, many people have help in their homes...a cleaning person, a cook, a gardener. No one would argue that those services should be tax deductible as a 'necessity' for any able-bodied, cognitively intact person. But, for someone frail and/or cognitively impaired, the services of those who help them with the 'activities of daily living' are a tax-deductible expense because they're medically necessary.
You need the doctor's order or there'd be nothing to prevent me from deducting what I pay my cleaning lady – if I had one : )
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Oooh my. This is going to be fun doing my parents taxes come January. They have a caregiver come in, but the doctor never "ordered" it on a presciption pad. It was just so painfully obvious. So now I ahve to get a doctor "order?"
Then there's the medical devices like assistive bars, Depends, what about blood pressure machine.
Do I have have to have each of their many doc offices write out a formal RX or does a page or two from their Med Records suffice?
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My accountant has told me the same thing that akdaughter has written above.
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Noleslover is correct. Basically it depends on the reason for the assisted living. The irs website irs.gov has a section on the deductibility of medical expenses. If placement is for medical needs or safety (in the case of dementia), the costs, including meals and lodging, are considered medical expenses. Medical expenses are an itemized deduction to the extent that they exceed either 7.5% or 10% (depending on the taxpayer's age) of your adjusted gross income.
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The key qualifiers are MD ORDERED and MEDICAL CARE. So the room and board portion is not deductible, nor is companion care, housekeeping, cooking or activities, but PT and OT are if done with a doctor's order.
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This information is excellent. Keep it coming. It is difficult to locate or find assistance like this. Thanks to everyone.
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Medical should be deductible as per the formula that IRS has. I think that the formula is changing this next year. Check out the IRS website for more information.
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