Can You Receive A Tax Credit For Supporting Your Elderly Parent?

Financially caring for your parent could result in a tax break for you. If you meet certain requirements, it is possible that you could claim your parent as a dependent at tax time. If you believe that you are entitled to do so, here is what you need to know.  

What Are the Requirements?

Before you can claim your parent as a dependent, you have to ensure that you meet certain criteria. For instance, you have to prove there is a recognizable parental relationship between you and him or her. In essence, your parent has to be your biological or adopted parent. In addition to this you have to meet other requirements, including:  

  • You have to provide more than 50 percent of your parent's financial support 

  • Your parent has to be a United States citizen 

  • Your parent must not have a legal obligation to file taxes 

  • Your parent cannot file a joint return with a spouse 

In addition to these requirements, there are income limits that can restrict whether or not you can claim your parent. If your parent earned more than a certain amount, you cannot claim him or her as a dependent. The amount changes each year. Check with the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, before filing to determine the amount.  

Can You Deduct Your Parent's Medical Expenses?

If part of providing financial support for your parent included paying for medical expenses, there is a possibility that you can deduct some or all of his or her expenses on your tax return. You only need to prove that you provided your parent with 50 percent or more of his or her financial support. If you are claiming your parent as a dependent, you likely meet the requirement.  

In addition to deducting your parent's medical expenses, you might be able to claim the Dependent Care Claim. The credit covers expenses that are related to taking care of your parent in your absence. For instance, if your parent has Alzheimer's disease and you pay a caregiver to assist him or her while you are away at work, you can claim the credit.  

There could be additional credits and deductions that you can take due to supporting your parent. Talk to a tax preparer like Jeffrey Beebe CPA to discover what additional help you can get with your taxes and to learn if you qualify for other credits related to other aspects of your financial situation.