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

Answer:

Yes, in certain instances nursing home expenses are allowable as medical expenses.

  • If you or someone who was your spouse or your dependent, either when the service was provided or when you paid them, is in a nursing home primarily for medical care, then the entire cost including meals and lodging is deductible as a medical expense.
  • If the individual is in the home mainly for personal reasons, then only the cost of the actual medical care is deductible as a medical expense, not the cost of the meals and lodging.

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