About Federal Tax Deductions for the Elderly

by Mike Maxfield ; Updated April 19, 2017

Elderly people and those responsible for their care are eligible for several federal tax deductions. These include a standard deduction for people age 65 and older as well as some itemized deductions for expenses often incurred among older persons.

Higher standard deduction

For seniors who don’t itemize their deductions, the IRS provides a higher standard deduction amount if they or their spouse are 65 years or older. It provides an extra $1,100 to the standard deduction amount.

Medical expenses

As we age, we’re more likely to require medical attention. All medical expenses exceeding 7.5% of adjusted gross income become eligible for a deduction. IRS Publication 502 lists the full range of eligible medical and dental expenses.

Medical insurance

The cost for medical insurance is also an allowable deduction. This includes insurance premiums seniors pay for Medicare Part B and medical gap insurance.

Long-term care

Many elderly people require long-term care, either at home or in an assisted living facility. According to BusinessTaxRecovery.com, these services become deductible when prescribed by a licensed healthcare practitioner. This includes meals and lodging at a facility if the main reason for residence includes receiving medical care.

Deductions for elderly dependents

If you take care of an elderly dependent, the IRS allows you to deduct the costs of providing that care. This includes not only medical expenses you pay on their behalf, but costs for housing and adult daycare as well.

About the Author

Mike Maxfield began writing professionally in 1981. After earning his BA in communications from California State Fullerton, he spent the next 26 years providing public affairs and media relations services for several local government agencies. Maxfield's writing career has included public relations and copywriting work for a range of public agencies, private sector companies and not-for-profit organizations.