Whether you’ve had an accident or illness that has changed your mobility, or age is simply taking its toll, managing the cost of making your home accessible is vital. If the retrofits you’re making are based on a medical necessity — for example, to allow wheelchair accessibility — you may be able to write off at least a portion of the costs, along with your other medical expenses for the year. There are a few points to consider:
- Does the alteration increase the value of your home?
- Is the alteration medically necessary and doctor recommended?
- Are your total combined medical and dental expenses for the year more than 7.5 percent of your annual gross income?
Calculating your deductions
If you’re planning to install wheelchair accessibility ramps, widen doorways or adapt your kitchen for ease of use with a wheelchair, it’s a good idea to get a property valuation. This gives you a baseline to assess the potential effect your alterations will have on your home’s worth. Simple alterations such as widened doorways generally don’t boost the value of a house. More significant alterations — like adding an elevator — are likely to have a measurable effect on the value of your home.
Where property value is increased, medical expenses can only be claimed on an amount spent beyond the increased property value. Similarly, you can only claim the amount of medical and dental expenses beyond 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income as a tax deduction.
There is an important difference between things that would make your life easier and alterations that are medically necessary. If you’re in doubt, speak to a doctor about the change you’re considering. You’ll probably need a letter from him or her stating that the alterations are required to afford accessibility.
Our area of expertise at Power Mobility and Lifts is helping you get around and enjoying a full and active life. We provide a full range of mobility equipment, from walkers to power scooters and vehicle lifts. Give us a call. We’re happy to help. We provide service throughout the state of Arizona.
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