claiming dependants

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 20, 2016
Familyhelper asked...

can you tell me what are the qualifications for claiming a parent as a depentant if your caring for them.

Expert Answers

Michael Gilfix is a Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning by the State Bar of California. He was chosen as a Super Lawyer by his peers and has been a national leader in the fields of law, long-term care, tax, and asset protection for more than 35 years. He writes and lectures about these topics across the nation and is the primary author of Tax, Estate, and Financial Planning for the Elderly: Forms and Practice. He has successfully advised thousands of families about protective long-term care planning.

Generally, you can claim your parent as a dependent if you are paying more than half of his or her cost of living. Check with your CPA or tax preparer to get an understanding of what you can and cannot count. You may need to charge rent, for example, so the true cost of living can be determined.

There are at least 2 other points to think about. First, you may also be able to deduct some portion of costs you pay for your parent's care if it is medically necessary. Such costs can be deducted once they exceed 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). Second, there is a home care income benefit that may be available if your parent is a veteran or the spouse of a veteran. it is called Aid and Dependent Care. If the veteran needs help with the "activities of daily living," a monthly check of between %1,600 and $1,850 may be available. You can inquire at the nearest VA office.

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