Is Home Health Care Tax Deductible?

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

Health care professional talking to a senior woman in the bedroom

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What are the requirements for home health care expenses to be tax deductible?

For long-term home care to be tax deductible, care needs to be performed by a home healthcare worker, and 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 healthcare 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 days1. 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.

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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What types of home health care expenses are tax deductible?

For expenses related to home health care to receive a tax deduction, they 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 cover 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 qualify as a home care tax deduction.

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, you're likely dealing with enough stress if you have a chronically ill family member as a dependent. Let a pro handle the tax issues. Check out the IRS' directory of credentialed tax return preparers, or get help with tax software like Turbo Tax


Yes, caregivers can put their parents as dependents on their income taxes, but you need to meet some of the IRS' requirements:

  • You can't be someone else's dependent
  • Your parents can't file a joint tax return or someone else's dependent
  • You paid more than half of your parent's support that year
  • Your parent's gross income for the calendar year had to be less than $4,300
  • They had to have lived with you all year in your main home if they are your foster parent

You can learn more about if your parent qualifies to be a dependent at the IRS website.

The short answer is yes, but there are some criteria you need to meet:

  • You must be unmarried or unmarried on the last day of the year.
  • You claim your parent as a dependent.
  • You paid more than half of the cost of keeping up a home for your parent more than half of the tax year. 

According to the IRS2, you can get a tax deduction for paying a caregiver, if you itemize your deductions and you list your parent as a  dependent. But, you can only claim the portion that wasn't covered by insurance.

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Related pages on SafeWise


  1. Cornell University, 26 USC § 7702B(c)(2), "Chronically Ill Individual". Accessed October 28, 2022.
  2. IRS, "For Caregivers". Accessed October 28, 2022.


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Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina is a safety and security expert that has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. Her goal is to make safety and security gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification and paving the way to her current career. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

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