Is Home Health Care Tax Deductible?

Many health care expenses can be written off on your taxes. But is elder care tax deductible? It can be, depending on the type of care needed and whether a doctor has decided it’s medically necessary.

What Are the Requirements for Home Health Care to Be Tax Deductible?

For long-term home care to be tax deductible, three requirements generally need to be met:

  1. The individual receiving the care must be chronically ill.
  2. The care must be prescribed by a licensed health care professional.
  3. The care must be of a type approved by the IRS to be tax deductible.
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What Does It Mean to Be Chronically Ill?

Chronically ill in this context means that the person is unable to perform at least two activities of daily living without assistance for at least ninety days. Activities of daily living are the basic daily tasks every person needs to be able to perform to live: eating, using the restroom, moving from one location to another, bathing, and dressing.

A person can also qualify as chronically ill if they suffer from significant cognitive impairment and require significant supervision or protection as a result.

What Types of Home Health Care Are Tax Deductible?

For long-term care to be tax deductible, it must fall under one of these umbrellas:

  1. Diagnostic
  2. Preventive
  3. Therapeutic
  4. Curing
  5. Treating
  6. Mitigating
  7. Rehabilitative services
  8. Maintenance and personal care services

Maintenance and personal care services covers help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Many chronically ill people require assistance with at least some of these tasks.

If your family member’s care aligns with one of those categories and your situation meets the three qualifications above, the care they receive could be tax deductible.

Consult a Tax Professional

As always, when you’re dealing with taxes and the IRS, we recommend consulting a professional unless you’re 100% sure you know what you’re doing. Taxes can be complex, and claiming certain deductions can invalidate others. Additionally, if you have a chronically ill family member as a dependent, it’s likely you’re dealing with enough stress as it is. Let a pro handle the tax issues.

To help your loved one stay safe as they receive home care, consider investing in an indoor nanny cam. With one of these devices, you can check in on your family member while you’re away or communicate with caregivers when they come to help. Check out our Nanny Cam Buyers Guide to learn more.


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Info current as of 05/13/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Celeste Tholen
Written by
Celeste Tholen
Celeste has dedicated her decade-long career to reporting and reviews that help people make well-informed decisions. She oversees editorial strategy and production for SafeWise, with a goal to help people find the information they need to make their homes and lives safer. Prior to SafeWise, she worked as an editor and reporter for KSL and Deseret News. She continues to report on local news as a volunteer with the community paper. For the last six years, she’s led a Girl Scout troop, teaching girls about safety and preparing for whatever life throws their way.

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