Elder Care Expenses

Elder Care Expenses article image

Families that provide care for elderly relatives face large expenses. There are a few tax breaks that can help to defray some of the costs.

When it comes to caring for its elderly population, the U.S. has begun to enter something of a crisis zone. Many people are aware of pending challenges facing government programs, such as Social Security and Medicare. Those programs will either need to soon find more funding or be restructured.

There are other difficulties that tend to be under the radar, when it comes to caring for the elderly.

One example of that is increasing life expectancies for elderly people. Many are living longer than they expected, so they have not saved enough to support themselves in their last years. Their families have had to pick up the slack, which can be very expensive.

One estimate is that it costs an average of $140,000 to care for an elder family member in the home, as Market Watch reported recently in “Tax breaks you should know about if you’re caring for elderly parents.”

Family caregivers do not have many options, when it comes to assistance with paying these bills. However, there are some tax deductions that might be useful to help with some of the costs.

First, it is possible to claim an elderly parent as a dependent for tax purposes. Second, if out of pocket expenses are made to hire someone to care for an elderly person, so a taxpayer can go to work, then some of that money might also be deductible. Third, if employers offer dependent care savings accounts, the money can also be used to help with elder care expenses. Finally, some medical expenses paid on behalf of an elder dependent, might also be deductible.

Reference: Market Watch (Feb. 13, 2018) “Tax breaks you should know about if you’re caring for elderly parents.”