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Qualify For Medical Deduction For Using An Assisted Living Facility In 2013

Many retirees will end up in a nursing home when they need constant assistance. But before that, they may choose to live in an assisted living facility (ALF) for convenience, security and comfort. To deduct costs for an assisted living facility, you must make sure the care you get there qualifies for it. Let's see what care qualifies.

For living costs to be deductible as an itemized medical deduction on your schedule A of your income tax, they must satisfy the qualified long-term care costs requirements. Those requirements are that care costs are "necessary rehabilitative services, maintenance or personal care services that are

1. required by a chronically ill individual, and

2. provided pursuant to a plan of care by a licensed health care practitioner."

Because a nursing home specializes in qualified long-term care, you can deduct its cost as an itemized medical deduction on your federal income tax. But not all individuals who use an AFL fulfill the long-term care requirement for deductibility.

To deduct your ALF costs you must first qualify as a "chronically ill individual". You - as a resident - will, if within the previous 12 months, a licensed healthcare practitioner certifies that the you meet one of two descriptions under IRC § 7702B(c)(2):

* You are unable to perform at least two activities of daily living (ADLs) without substantial assistance from another individual for at least 90 days due to a loss of functional capacity. ADLs are eating, toileting, transferring, bathing, dressing, and continence; or,

* You require substantial supervision to be protected from threats to health and safety due to severe cognitive impairment.

The Internal Revenue Code doesn't define what a 'plan of care' is. Though nursing homes are required by federal law to prepare such a plan for each resident, most assisted living facilities also prepare a plan of care. But in any case, the plan must be prepared by a licensed care practitioner.

Satisfying either of these two requirements qualifies as personal care services under the statute so AFL costs can be deducted - but only to the extent that they are not reimbursed by government benefits or your insurance.

Be sure to add up all your qualified medical expenses, including the qualified long-term care and insurance premiums. But only their total value in excess of 10% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) actually contributes to the medical deduction. For those 65 or older by the end of 2012, you can continue using 7.5% of your adjusted gross income threshold for itemizing medical deductions but only through 2016.

If you don't meet the requirement, you can still deduct the percentage of the ALF costs attributed to nursing services which is typically around 35% of all AFL costs. Request the AFL to provide a breakdown of costs for you for your convenience.

About Author Shane Flait :

Shane Flait helps you with your financial legal, tax, and retirement goals. Get his FREE report on Managing Your Retirement => <a href="" target="_blank"></a> Read his ebook: 'Wise Way to Financial Independence' => <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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Article Added on Tuesday, June 3, 2014
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