As most taxpayers know, dependents can and should be claimed on your tax return each year. For child dependents, this can be done until they reach age 19 or if they are working and earning less than $4,050. This was the maximum income for 2016 and will remain the same for 2017. So, with that, let’s look at what kind of claims you can make to lower your tax bill if you are claiming a disabled or special needs dependent.
For claiming children, the number $4,050 mentioned above is important for you too. This is the reduction in taxable income. Due to the complexities of your situation, it is advisable to speak to a financial professional or a special needs lawyer. Complexities include the inclusion of health coverage, and if your dependent is over 19 and living with you, the food and shelter you provide might reduce or even disqualify their Supplementary Security Income (SSI) payments.
Caring for an individual or individuals with a disability or special needs can be tough on your wallet but there might be more deductions you can make than you know. Keep records of every single penny you spend that could and do fall under the medical umbrella. In order for all your medical claims to qualify, they must total 10% of your income.
Other deductions you may want to look into claiming include home modifications made for medical reasons to benefit the dependent. Examples of this include a wheelchair ramp for accessibility purposes or maybe air conditioning modifications if the dependent has perhaps a respiratory illness. Note, however, if the changes made somehow increase the value of your home, you might only be able to partially deduct these costs.
Another little-known claim is if you receive a written recommendation from a doctor to attend a conference or seminar that will benefit you and your dependent, you may have the choice to claim travel and registration costs for these.
If your dependent is working but only with the assistance of attendant care you may be able to claim the portion you are covering that isn’t already paid for by a specialized program. If your would-be dependent is filing their own tax return, they can, of course, claim the same reduction.
Financial benefits and claims are a tricky business so if you are in any doubt or feel you can claim more than you are, seek the guidance from a professional accountant.