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Tax Tips for Caregivers

Do you currently take care of your aging parent? Well, you might have questions when it comes to doing your taxes. Can you claim your parent as a dependent on your tax return?
You may claim your parent as a dependent if you meet the following tests:
You (and your spouse if filing jointly) are not a dependent of another taxpayer.
Your parent, if married, doesn’t file a joint return, unless your parent and his or her spouse file a joint return only to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid.
Your parent is a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, U.S. resident alien, or a resident of Canada or Mexico.
You paid more than half of your parent’s support for the calendar year.
Your parent’s gross income for the calendar year was less than the exemption amount.
Your parent isn’t a qualifying child of another taxpayer.
If your parent is your foster parent, they must have lived with you all year as a member of your household.
What if you paid for medical expenses for your parents, can you deduct them?
Yes, if your parent was your dependent either at the time the medical services were provided or at the time you paid the expenses, you may claim a deduction for the portion of their expenses that you paid. You can include medical expenses you paid for an individual that would have been your dependent except that:
He or she received gross income of $4,050 or more in 2017,
He or she filed a joint return for the year, or
You, or your spouse if filing jointly, are properly claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return.
Deduct the medical expenses on Schedule A (Form 1040), Itemized Deductions. Reduce the total of all allowable medical expenses by 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.
My father is suffering from dementia. As a result, I must cash his monthly social security check and use the proceeds for his care. What are the resulting tax consequences?
Your father’s social security benefits aren’t taxable to you. In determining whether you provided over one-half of your father’s support in order to claim him as your dependent, you should consider the benefits used for your father’s support as support provided by your parent.

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