Are Handicapped Access Medical Deduction Allowed?
The IRS has actually allowed a medical deduction for certain improvement expenses on a home that result in assisting or benefiting a disabled member of the family. These improvements are referred to as Capital Expenses.
What are these Capital Expenses?
The IRS has defined these "as amounts paid for special equipment installed in a home, or for improvements, if their main purpose is medical care for you, your spouse, or your dependent."
The IRS states that "if the value of your property is not increased by the improvement, the entire cost is included as a medical expense."
Its very possible that the proposed improvements that you are considering will not increase the value of the home and so the entire cost of the improvements that you are envisaging for benefit of your handicapped dependent can be included in full as medical expenses.
The IRS tax code has specifically identified these improvements that are includable as a medical expense deduction. Per the IRS, some of the expenses are listed as follows;
1. Constructing entrance or exit ramps for your home.
2. Widening doorways at entrances or exits to your home.
3. Widening or otherwise modifying hallways and interior doorways.
4. Installing railings, support bars, or other modifications to bathrooms.
5. Lowering or modifying kitchen cabinets and equipment.
6. Moving or modifying electrical outlets and fixtures.
7. Installing porch lifts and other forms of lifts (but elevators generally add value to the house).
8. Modifying fire alarms, smoke detectors, and other warning systems.
9. Modifying stairways.
10. Adding handrails or grab bars anywhere (whether or not in bathrooms).
11. Modifying hardware on doors.
12. Modifying areas in front of entrance and exit doorways.
13. Grading the ground to provide access to the residence.
I think that at least the following points may apply to your situation, 3, 4, 5 and 10!
The IRS has also stated that "only reasonable costs to accommodate a home to a disabled condition are considered medical care. Additional costs for personal motives, such as for architectural or aesthetic reasons, are not medical expenses."
I would also attach a statement to the tax return stating that the medical expenses resulted from a improvement at home to enable a handicapped member of the family to gain better access to the stairs, bathroom facilities and the kitchen.