Tax Deductions for Seniors


4 min read

Tax Deductions for Seniors


Caregivers and Family Paying for Senior Care

As tax time rolls around, older adults and their loved ones should know there are a variety of tax deductions and credits available to ease the financial burden of senior living. Read on for tips and advice from the IRS to make sure you aren’t missing any important ways to save on this year’s taxes.

Standard Deduction | If you’re over age 65, you are entitled to take a higher standard deduction if you choose not to itemize deductions. The amount ranges from $1,500 to $1,850 per person above the normal standard deduction of $13,850 for single people or $27,700 for married couples filing jointly.

Medical Expenses | If you do decide to itemize, all IRS-allowed medical expenses exceeding 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income are tax deductible. What’s allowed? Expenses must be primarily to treat or prevent an illness or physical or mental disability, and may be incurred by you, your spouse, dependent, or a close relative for whom you provide more than half the care. Examples include hearing aid supplies and maintenance; dentures; eyeglasses and contact lenses; insurance policy premiums for medical, dental, vision, prescription, or long-term care coverage; Medicare premiums; and some or all of senior living costs. If you or your loved one is in a nursing home primarily for medical reasons, the entire cost of the nursing home, including meals and lodging, is deductible; if they reside there for mostly non-medical reasons, only the portion of the cost directly related to medical care may be deducted.

Elderly or Disabled Tax Credit | If you’re over age 65 or permanently disabled and meet certain income requirements, you may be eligible for a tax credit. The credit comes directly off the taxes you owe and ranges from $3,750 to $7,500 depending on income and filing status.

 Social Security Income | Depending on the circumstances, Social Security income may not be subject to taxes—and you may not have to file taxes at all if Social Security makes up the majority of your income. See here for a detailed breakdown of income requirements.

 Need Help? The IRS offers free tax preparation assistance to people over age 60 through its Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program, staffed by volunteers who specialize in common senior tax questions. Click here to find a TCE site near you.

Contemplating the next chapter in your loved one’s story? Click here to learn more about Bickford Senior Living and to find a branch near you.