Monday, March 28, 2011

Tax Tip: Deduct Nursing Home Expenses

NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Many senior citizens choose to spend their golden years in a continuing-care retirement community providing options for independent living, assisted living and nursing care.

In such a community residents can move from one venue to another as their situation changes and additional levels of care may be needed. Once accepted into the facility, residents are often guaranteed health or long-term care coverage for life. In most cases a resident must pay a sizable entry fee, plus a monthly maintenance fee to the home.

That part of a lump-sum entrance fee paid to a "life-care" or "continuing care" facility specified in the residential agreement as a condition for the facility's promise to provide lifetime medical care can be deducted.

The deduction must be made for the full amount on the Schedule A form for itemized deductions as a medical expense in the year it is paid, even though the medical care will be provided at some time in the future.

Similarly, a one-time upfront medical payment paid to a nursing home for a lifetime of medical care can be deducted in full in the year it is paid, despite the fact much of the medical care will be provided in future years.

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