Caring for an elderly relative can be rewarding, but incredibly difficult – as well as expensive. However, it may be possible to recoup some of the costs through income tax savings.
There are two general approaches to tax savings on elder care costs – taking medical deductions that can be itemized and claiming a dependent care credit that can be subtracted directly from the taxes you owe.
First, you must determine if your elderly relative qualifies as a dependent. Full details are listed in IRS Publication 501, "Dependents, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information," but the primary criteria are that they must be a relative, you must be providing over half of their support, and their gross 2020 income must be less than $4,300.
The definition of relatives includes stepparents and in-laws. They do not...