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.
Getting older? Caring for mom and dad?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for tips and reviews to help folks age in place safely and maintain independence.

By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

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.


Compare the best medical alert systems

Brand
Best for
Lowest monthly price
In-home range
Backup battery
Landline option available
Multiple wearable options
Learn more
Read review
Bay Alarm Medical
Best overall1000 ft.32 hours
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
GetSafe medical alert systemGetSafe
Best for budgets1300 ft.32 hours
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Philips HomeSafe StandardPhilips LifeLine
Best for fall detection400 ft.Not available
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Medical Guardian Classic Guardian systemMedical Guardian
Best for customization1300 ft.32 hours
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
MobileHelp
Best for active lifestyles1400 ft.24 hours
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
aloe care total careAloe Care
Best smart features200 ft.6 hours
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes

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.

Recent Articles

beautiful mountain river scene at sunrise bc canada
The Best Home Security Systems in Canada
Find the best home alarm system to protect your house. We looked at price, features,...
man pointing at smart home control app on a tablet
The Best Smart Home Security Systems
We’ve tested and researched smart home security systems to help you find the right DIY...
watching camera feed on tablet
Best Wireless Security Systems
Wireless home security systems are more popular than ever. They’re easy to install and hard...
boy and dog opening cabinet
Best Pet-Friendly Home Security Systems
The best pet-friendly home security systems keep your furry friends happy and safe with advanced...