At tax time, our thoughts naturally turn toward deductions. What might count as a medical expense for your ill older relative?
With elders, there's a fine line between health care and personal care. Perhaps your loved one needs some help getting up from a chair. Or perhaps he or she can no longer put together a meal. These situations create safety and health risks. But medical deductions typically cover only the costs of highly skilled providers. Personal tasks such as these don’t require a registered nurse!
Fortunately, the IRS now recognizes that personal care is a health issue for many individuals. As such, in-home care can be deducted as a medical expense under specific conditions.
The first step is to obtain a letter from a licensed health professional. From a doctor or nurse practitioner, for example. The letter must certify that in the past 12 months your loved one either...