Tax time in the U.S. is around the corner and with its arrival comes opportunity – yes, you heard right – for family caregivers of senior adults. While caring for senior loved ones is typically done as an act of love, the financial cost to family caregivers can be significant.
When living expenses exceed the ability of seniors to pay or their savings are simply exhausted, costs associated with caregiving often come from the pockets of seniors’ families. The Internal Revenue Code, the law governing US Federal income tax, provides a bit of relief for family caregivers in the form of limited deductions and tax credits for expenses paid in the care of senior loved ones.
This episode of the Senior Care Corner Podcast delves into some of those opportunities and helps point caregivers toward areas to consider in the preparation of their own tax returns. In addition to the types of expenses for which the tax code may provide relief, we cover the basics of qualifications and talk about where to go for further information and assistance.
Family caregivers paying for significant medical and other needed care expenses for senior loved ones may qualify for a tax break, even if the loved ones live in their own homes some distance away. There are further opportunities for those who obtain needed care for senior loved ones unable to care for themselves when that care allows family members to seek or hold jobs.
When senior loved ones move into their family’s home, deductions may cover part of the cost of alterations to the home needed to accommodate the specific needs of the seniors, especially those alterations needed due to disabilities.
In addition to tax time topics, we alert family caregivers to the opportunities to use Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs), provided by many employers, to achieve tax benefits for caregiving costs across the year. FSA benefits can be greater even than benefits achievable through the annual tax return.
While tax savings are not available for all, or even most, of the costs associated with being a family caregiver of a senior, they can help lighten the load on a family.
News Items in this Senior Care Corner Podcast
- Regulators considering waiver of prescription requirement for some widely used drugs, including those for diabetes and cholesterol
- CDC reports US flu season off to a very late start
- Those approaching retirement age should expect retirement surprises
- America’s dental crisis
Links Mentioned in this Podcast
- IRS publication on medical and dental expenses
- IRS publication on dependent care expenses
- Report on the dental crisis from the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging
Do you have caregiver tax stories regarding the benefits that can be gained or complications in seeking those benefits? We would love to have you share them, either here or on our Facebook wall.
Podcast Transcript – so you can follow along or read at your convenience