Caring for an elderly parent or other relative can be a costly undertaking. Tax deductions for elder care provide caregivers with the means to recoup a portion of the monies spent on their elderly dependents and can also help with finances in subsequent years. The US Tax Code offers several tax deductions for elder care.
Read IRS Publication 501: "Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information" for details on this topic by following the link in the Resources section.
Check your elderly dependent's income (including Social Security benefits, dividends or interest, pension, et cetera) against the maximum income requirement set by the IRS for the chosen tax year.
Calculate whether you have covered more than half of your elderly dependent's living expenses (including medical care, food, housing, insurance, transportation, etc.). You can't take a deduction for elder care unless you meet this requirement or unless you share elder care with another eligible person .
Use Form 2120: "Multiple Support Declaration" for tax deductions if you cover less than 50 percent of the living expenses for an elderly dependent, share support of your dependent with one or more eligible people and have received approval from those people to take the deduction (only one eligible person can take the dependent deduction each year). Only use this method if neither you nor anyone else could claim 50-percent coverage.
Include a portion of your own expenses (the portion utilized by your dependent) if your elderly dependent lives with you.
Take a tax break and include it with your own Medical Expenses if you provide more than 50 percent of your elderly dependent's medical expense coverage, but cannot claim your elderly dependent for other expenses. Read IRS Publication 502: "Medical and Dental Expenses" for additional information on this topic.
Print and complete the Worksheet for Determining Support in Publication 501, after completing the previous steps, to determine whether you qualify to take an exemption and a deduction(s) for your elder care support.