Submitted By: Mary Ann
Answered: January 13, 2016 10:03 am

My husband, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, is living in a VA home. Can I take a medical deduction for this?

If you itemize deductions (instead of taking the standard deduction), medical expenses you pay out of pocket (i.e., are not covered by insurance or a government program) can be deducted to the extent they exceed your applicable adjusted-gross-income threshold (7.5% for those 65 and older in 2016; 10% if under 65). If you file a joint return and pay toward your husband’s care, you can take the write off. If the costs are fully paid by the VA, you have no out-of-pocket costs to deduct.

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Tax Glossary

At-risk rules

Rules limiting loss deductions to cash investments and personal liability notes. An exception for real estate treats certain nonrecourse commercial loans as amounts “at risk.”

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