Posted April 7, 2011

April 15th is almost here and I can’t believe I forgot to write about this!  Every year this is a popular post so I want to make sure I keep you abreast of any tax tips that seniors and caregivers can use and think about before they file their taxes!

Since I am not an accountant not a CPA and actually pay one to do my taxes, please do not consider this legal advice.  However I searched the web and read quite a few articles on the subject and found some great resources that I am sharing below.  If anyone else has any to add please send me a message or comment below.

Medical Expenses – many elderly, especially those on fixed incomes may be able to deduct medical expenses on their taxes because the allowable expenses often exceed the 7.5% of adjusted gross income that is required.  In addition to the obvious expenses, medical equipment and insurance premiums including long term care insurance may be able to be deducted.  You can find allowable deductions on the IRS website for publication 502

Is assisted living Tax Deductible? – in some cases an assisted living will often report the “medical” as opposed to room & board expenses at the end of the year.  Contact the executive director of the community to find out more.

Is In Home Care Tax Deductible?  – very tricky.  If home care aid is providing medical services such as administering medication, help with bathing etc, the cost is probably tax deductible, see the above publication.  But it gets tricky if you are paying a caregiver directly as opposed to a licensed agency.  If the caregiver is your employee – in regards to taxes you need to make sure you withholding their taxes and matching their contributions.

Tax Deductions & Credits – those 65 and older may qualify for a special credit as long as their incomes don’t exceed certain thresholds, which vary by filing status. Be sure to consult the I.R.S. Web site for form 524.

Taxable Social Security – to find out more consult this worksheet A Quick Way To Check if Your Benefits May Be Taxable on the IRS website.  This usually applies to seniors that have a lot of additional income in addition to their social security.

Please Help Me! – The AARP has set up Tax-Aide which offers free assistance for federal and state returns.  There is a great article about Tax-Aide on the AARP website and you can also find links to local volunteers.


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