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Making Your Home Accessible Can Be Tax Deductible

11/12/14 6:35 AM

What if a parent with medical needs had to move in with you, or another family member living with you, or yourself had an event that required home adaptations, are those expenses tax deductible? According to current IRS guidelines, eligible installments of special equipment or adapting the home for accessibility can be eligible for a tax deduction, if there are capital expenses remaining after the home improvement value is deducted from the costs. (Use a Capital Expense Worksheet the IRS provides to help determine the amount eligible).

To be considered, the changes made must have the primary purpose for the medical care for you, your spouse, or your dependent. Certain improvements made to accommodate a home to your disabled condition, or that of your spouse or your dependents who live with you can be included as a medical expense.

These improvements include, but are not limited to, the following items:


  • Constructing entrance or exit ramps, including grading the ground to provide better access
  • Widening doorways and hallways
  • Installing railings, support bars, or other modifications to bathrooms.
  • Lowering or modifying kitchen cabinets and equipment.
  • Moving or modifying electrical outlets and fixtures.
  • Modifying fire alarms, smoke detectors, and other warning systems.
  • Modifying stairways, adding lifts, or an elevator.
  • Adding handrails or grab bars anywhere
  • Modifying hardware on doors.

Only reasonable costs to accommodate a home to a disabled condition are considered medical care. Additional costs for architectural or aesthetic improvements, are not considered a medical expense.

Ongoing operation and upkeep can be included.   Amounts you pay for operation and upkeep of a capital asset qualify as medical expenses, as long as the main reason for them is medical care. This rule applies even if none or only part of the original cost of the capital asset qualified as a medical care expense.


Check the current IRS guidelines, and consult with a tax advisor to be sure what qualifies for a deduction. This article is a guideline not intended to replace the advice of a tax specialist.


Happy Home Remodeling!

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