How to Record Tax Deductions for My Mother's Nursing Home Expenses

by Diane Stevens ; Updated July 27, 2017
Continuous medical care in a nursing home is tax-deductible.

Items you will need

  • IRS Schedule A, Form 1040
  • Paperwork documenting reason for nursing home stay or documenting medical care during nursing home stay

Whether or not nursing home expenses are federal income tax-deductible depends on the reason a person is residing in the home. If the individual requires constant medical care, then the entire expense is deductible. However, if the individual does not require continuous medical care and, instead, resides in a nursing home because she cannot care for herself at home, then room-and-board expenses are not deductible.

Step 1

Obtain a copy of the doctor's written orders specifying the reason for the nursing home care and what medical care, if any, is required on a regular basis. If continuous medical care is required, the entire expense of the nursing home stay is tax-deductible.

Step 2

Obtain a copy of the nursing home bill. If the resident is not in the nursing home for continuous medical care, confirm that the cost for any medical care the resident did receive is detailed on the invoice. All expenses for medical care while residing in a nursing home are tax-deductible.

Step 3

Total the payments made for nursing home and/or medical care and subtract any reimbursements that were received, such as from insurance. Enter this number on line 1 of Schedule A.

Step 4

Enter the adjusted gross income (AGI) from Form 1040, line 38 onto line 2 of Schedule A. Record 7.5 percent of line 2 onto line 3 by multiplying the AGI by .075. For example, with an AGI of $15,000, the calculation would be $15,000 x .075 = $1,125.

Step 5

Enter a 0 (zero) on line 4, Schedule A, if line 3 is greater than line 1. Using the above example, if line 1 is less than $1,125, enter a 0 on line 3. If line 1 is more than line 3, subtract the amount on line 3 from the amount on line 1 and enter the result on line 4 as the allowable medical deduction. Using the same example, if line 1 is $3,250, the calculation is $3,250 - $1,125 = $2,125, so you would enter $2,125 on line 4.

About the Author

Diane Stevens' professional experience started in 1970 with a computer programming position. Beginning in 1985, running her own business gave her extensive experience in personal and business finance. Her writing appears on Orbitz's Travel Blog and other websites. Stevens holds a Bachelor of Science in physics from the State University of New York at Albany.

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