If you or a family member lives in an assisted living facility, you know that assisted living costs continue to rise every year. But did you know some of those costs may be tax deductible? Medical expenses, including some long-term care expenses, are deductible if the expenses are more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income. (In 2019, this threshold will be 10 percent.)
To qualify for the deduction, personal care services must be provided according to a plan of care prescribed by a licensed health care provider. This means a doctor, nurse, or social worker must prepare a plan that outlines the specific daily services the resident will receive. Though not required by law, most assisted living facilities prepare care plans for their residents.
Generally, only the medical component of assisted living costs is deductible and ordinary living costs like room and board are not. However, if the resident is chronically ill and in the facility primarily for medical care and the care is being performed according to a certified care plan, then the room and board may be considered part of the medical care and the cost may be deductible, just as it would be in a hospital. If the resident is in the assisted living facility for custodial and not medical care, the costs are deductible only to a limited extent. In any case, the expenses are not deductible if they are reimbursed by insurance or any other programs.
In order for room and board expenses to be tax deductible, the resident must be considered “chronically ill.” This means a doctor or nurse has certified that the resident either:
- cannot perform at least two activities of daily living, such as eating, toileting, transferring, bath, dressing, or continence; or
- requires supervision due to a cognitive impairment (such as Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia).
Residents who are not chronically ill may still deduct the portion of their expenses that are attributable to medical care, including entrance or initiation fees. The assisted living facility is responsible for providing residents with information as to what portion of fees is attributable to medical costs.
Clergy Financial Resources serves as a resource for clients to help analyze the complexity of clergy tax law, church payroll & HR issues. Our professionals are committed to helping clients stay informed about tax news, developments and trends in various specialty areas.
This article is intended to provide readers with guidance in tax matters. The article does not constitute, and should not be treated as professional advice regarding the use of any particular tax technique. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information. Clergy Financial Resources and the author do not assume responsibility for any individual’s reliance upon the information provided in the article. Readers should independently verify all information before applying it to a particular fact situation, and should independently determine the impact of any particular tax planning technique. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney.
For more information or if you need additional assistance, please use the contact information below.
Clergy Financial Resources
11214 86th Avenue N.
Maple Grove, MN 55369
Tel: (888) 421-0101
Fax: (888) 876-5101