Are Nursing Home Costs Tax Deductible?

Mature men sitting and talking at a nursing home.
Image Credit: Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Nursing home expenses are a valid tax deduction. As long as you're staying in the home for medical reasons, you can write off the cost of medical treatment, meals and lodging. If a dependent such as your parent stays in a home and you pay the bills, that money's deductible too. There are limits on how much you can write off, though. IRS Publication 502 spells them out.

Getting the Deduction

You claim nursing-home expenses for yourself or family members as an itemized medical deduction. If you don't itemize, there's no write-off. Add all qualifying medical expenses listed in IRS 502, then subtract 10 percent of your adjusted gross income. Whatever remains is deductible. If you spent less than 10 percent, there's no write-off. If insurance, Medicare or Medicaid paid any of the nursing-home bills, subtract those payments from your expenses before figuring the deduction. A $15,000 nursing-home bill that was $14,000 covered leaves you with $1,000 to potentially write off, after you substract 10 percent of your AGI.

references & resources