Unpaid caregivers spend an exorbitant amount of time and energy caring for their loved ones; often dividing their daily landscape into a myriad of tasks that leave their own quality of life at bay. Putting aside the misnomer that we are a purely selfish society and “put our elderly away,” the 65million unpaid family caregivers do most of the heavy lifting in the United States. It is estimated that value of the services family caregivers provide for “free,” is $375 billion a year!

For sometime I have been advocating for those family caregivers to receive some sort of tax deduction.  As AARP states, “Family support is a key driver in remaining in one’s home and in the community, but it comes at substantial costs to the caregivers themselves, to their families, and to society. If family caregivers were no longer available, the economic cost to the U.S.health care and long-term services and supports (LTSS) systems would increase astronomically.”

If you are a caregiver to your parent, whether they live with you or not, you can claim them as a dependent on your tax form if:

  • Their gross income is less than $3,700 a year (not including social security or disability payments)
  • You cover more than half of their cost’s for housing, medical care, transportation and other necessities

If you think you qualify there is a worksheet that can help you with this at: IRS Publication 501 irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf  To receive this or other IRS publications or forms via mail, you can call 800-829-3676.

Here is another great resource for question on Tax Tips for Seniors and Caregivers. Hope this is helpful. Spread the word. These programs need to expand to include more of us!


  1. Barbara Landers

    This is great news for caregivers taking care of a parent. My situation is that I am the sole caregiver of my husband, 88 yr old, with alzheimers disease. I have promised him to keep him at home and intend to keep that promise. But as time goes on, and I need to bring in additional nursing help, at very costly expenses, is there a tax break, or deduction, etc. for this situation? I do our taxes through Turbo Tax, on line. Information would be appreciated. Thank you,
    Barbara Landers

  2. Linda


    Yes, you can deduct the cost of hiring additional help. There is a form to fill out, but so worth it. Also, was your husband ever in a war? If so, he could qualify for V.A. benefits called “Aid and Attendance”. This is a cash benefit to help defray the cost of keeping your husband at home with outside help. If he qualifies, he could get another V.A. cash benefit called “Homebound”. I hope this helps.

  3. Jerry Bumgardner

    I am 72 years old and I am the sole caretaker of my 93 year old Mother. We are doing pretty good and coping but….I will have to have a surgical procedure soon and worried about how this will affect my Mother. If necessary I can admit her to a covalescent home for the recovery time but she is very much against this idea. Perhaps inhome care is an option but very difficult and expensive to find qualified caregivers for the time necessary. Question: Is there convalescent/recovery facilities in my area (zip 92345) that would allow us to share a room for approximately six weeks? I think this would help her to have me close by and also allow me to recuperate.

  4. Robert Daniel

    In 2014 I was a caretaker for my father- in- law for 100 days. I had to drive a 300 miles round trip 32 times which equals 9600 miles. Can I write this expense off on my taxes? I do itemize.
    Thank you for your assistance.

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