Deducting Your Parents Nursing Home Expenses


by Michael Lodge

A lot of us have parents that are in nursing homes.  Some of our clients are also paying for their parents nursing home expenses, which is very costly.  So the question of what is deductible for medical expenses on your personal tax return.  The question boils down to are you providing more then half of their daily living expenses.  Are they your dependent?

Question: My father is in a nursing home and I pay for the entire cost. Can I deduct these expenses on my tax return?


Nursing home expenses are allowable as medical expenses in certain instances.

  • If you, your spouse, or your dependent is in a nursing home and the primary reason for being there is for medical care, the entire cost including meals and lodging is a deductible medical expense.
  • If the individual is in the home mainly for personal reasons, then only the cost of the actual medical care is a deductible medical expense, and the cost of the meals and lodging is not deductible.

To determine if your father qualifies as your dependent for this purpose, refer to Whose Medical Expenses Can You Include inPublication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses.

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