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Is the full cost of memory care assisted living deductible for federal tax purposes?

By Terry Savage on January 15, 2022 | Financial Planning / Retirement

I do the tax returns for my father-in-law, who is a 95 year old World War Two veteran. While living alone in his home of 50+ years, one day after his 95th birthday in February of 2021, he fell and broke his hip. As a result of the isolation during the stay in the hospital for the hip operation and rehab, his ability to remember severely declined. After living with us for several months we found a suitable room in an assisted living facility. As a part of the placement process at the facility, it was determined that he needed to be restricted to the memory care unit, where he now lives full time.
In preparation for his income tax return for 2021, I am not clear as to whether the full cost at the facility is tax deductible under medical expenses or if only a portion is deductible (as it includes a private room and meals). He is under the full time care of medical professionals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Thank you.

Terry Says

You’ve done some of your research and here is a link to the rest from ElderLawAnswers.com.
As you’ll see, there is a lot of gray about whether only medical expenses are deductible, or also room and board, depending on the condition. Yours seems to qualify.
BUT the real issue is not that the expenses be deductible to your father-in-law (who likely does not have much income to deduct these costs from!) but whether they are deductible to YOU! Read to the end of the article to see under which circumstances the adult children of the patient might be able to deduct the costs.
And, I would get a CPA to do your tax return –to make sure it is filed correctly because this is going to draw attention from the IRS!

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