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Quick Tax Tips for Family Caregivers
Posted By Sally Abrahms On March 6, 2013 @ 9:00 am In Take Care | Comments Disabled
April 15 is galloping into view. Give me a break! That’s what we all want when it comes to taxes. And this may be your year. Some of the rules regarding tax breaks for family caregivers have changed slightly since last year. I thought I’d do an update.
You might be able to claim your parent, grandparent, stepparent, mother- or father-in-law, sibling, half sibling or step-sibling as a tax dependent even if he or she doesn’t live with you. Here are the rules:
What if your relative’s gross income is more than $3,800? Then that person can’t be a dependent but might still qualify for a deduction on his or her medical expenses. Those expenses will need to be more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income. (For 2013 taxes, the threshold will be 10 percent.)
You might also be eligible for the child and dependent care credit. If that’s the case, you’d get a credit of up to 35 percent of expenses paid for dependent care, with $3,000 in maximum expenses. That translates to as much as a $1,050 tax credit. Qualified long-term care services may be deductible as well.
To qualify for the child and dependent care credit, you must have earned income, your relative must be unable to take care of himself or herself because of mental or physical limitations, and the care recipient typically must live with you.
There’s also a credit for the elderly or the permanently and totally disabled, but just 100,000 a year lucky filers can take it. Generally, your annual income can’t exceed $25,000.
Confused? Overwhelmed? You can always call the Internal Revenue Service telephone assistance help line. Dial 800-829-1040 Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time.
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