Deductible assisted living costs

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By Neil Downing / The Providence Journal

Can you deduct money you spend for housing and other services provided by an assisted-living facility? That’s the question a woman from Smithfield asked MoneyLine:

Q: My husband’s health required us to move to an assisted-living facility. We pay the basic room rate, plus $500 for the extra person, and extra for showering and medicine dispensing. How much of this is tax deductible?

“” H.R., Smithfield

A: You may be able to deduct the portion that relates directly to medical expenses. First, though, you must clear a key hurdle:

You cannot deduct medical expenses if you claim what’s known as the lump-sum standard deduction, the amount of which varies depending on your filing status (whether you’re single, or married and filing a joint return, for example).

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