By Alexis Levitt
As you know by now, the new federal tax law represents a broad overhaul of our tax rules. One item that was on the chopping block was the medical expense deduction. But thanks to the leadership of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), which is, as the name implies, the national organization for the elder law bar, that deduction was saved and is still part of our federal tax code.
I always say that figuring out how to pay for long-term care is a puzzle – we put together a host of sources in order to stretch out your assets to keep you at home for as long as possible. Home could be your house, an in-law apartment at your child’s house, assisted living, etc. Sources include your savings, physical and logistical help from family and neighbors, veteran’s benefits, and more.
One piece of the puzzle is the medical expense deduction. This rule permits you to deduct medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. Knowing that you will get some relief on taxes provides a little breathing room and confidence that you can afford to bring care into your home for a bit longer. Thank you to NAELA and its allies who fought to keep this deduction in the tax code!
About the Author
Alexis Levitt practices elder law, special needs planning, estate planning, and veteran’s benefits. She sits on the board of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Her office is in Norwell, and she frequently meets with clients in their homes. You may reach Alexis at (781) 740-7269 or visit her website and blog for more information at www.alexislevitt.com.
Reprinted from the February 2018 issue of the South Shore Senior News