Question
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 deductible medical expenses.

  • If you, your spouse, or your dependent is in a nursing home primarily for medical care, then the entire nursing home cost (including meals and lodging) is deductible as a medical expense.
  • If that individual is in a home primarily for non-medical 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.