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Medical, Nursing Home, Special Care Expenses

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 in Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses.

  • You deduct medical expenses on Schedule A (Form 1040) (.pdf), Itemized Deductions.
  • The total of all allowable medical expenses must be reduced by 10% of your adjusted gross income, 7.5% if either you or your spouse is age 65 or older.

Additional Information:

Category: Itemized Deductions, Standard Deduction
Subcategory: Medical, Nursing Home, Special Care Expenses

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The OMB number for this study is 1545-1432.
If you have any comments regarding this study, please write to:
IRS, Tax Products Coordinating Committee
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Washington, DC 20224