Is the Cost of a Walk-In Tub Tax Deductible?
A walk-in tub isn’t exactly a small purchase. Most basic walk-in tubs will cost between $2,000 and $5,000. If you need a wheelchair-accessible model, something more significant than standard, or want a lot of extra features, your tub could cost you double that. These numbers can be quite daunting for someone living on a fixed income or caring for an elderly family member. While financing plans are often available and there are some ways to reduce the overall cost of a walk-in tub, every little bit helps, and deducting the tub’s cost on your tax return can be a helpful way to minimize the financial burden of this purchase.
But does a walk-in tub qualify as a tax deduction? What if you’re not even purchasing it for yourself? Keep reading to learn more about walk-in tubs and applicable tax deductions. Please bear in mind that this article outlines general information and is not intended as tax advice. To learn more about how to deduct a walk-in tub on your tax return, seek the advice of a professional tax preparer.
Purchasing a Tub for Yourself
If you’re purchasing a walk-in tub for your care, the tub may be deductible as a medical expense. However, you must be able to prove that purchase of the tub is for medical safety reasons. This can usually be done with medical records that demonstrate reduced mobility and the need for greater accessibility. If possible, ask your doctor to prescribe the walk-in tub to keep in your records. (You won’t need the prescription to purchase a walk-in tub, but it’s good to have on hand in case you’re audited.)
The tub’s cost and the cost of installation (if not included in the tub’s purchase price) can then be deducted as a Medical and Dental Expense. Please note that only medical expenses exceeding 7.5% of your adjusted gross income can be deducted on your tax return. You can calculate the amount you’re allowed to deduct on Schedule A of Form 1040.
Purchasing a Tub for a Family Member
Tubs purchased for your legal dependents and spouse would be deducted as described above. However, suppose you’re buying a walk-in tub for an elderly parent or other non-dependent family members for which you provide care. In that case, you may be able to claim the expense under the Dependent Care Tax Credit, also known as the Elderly Dependent Care Credit or the Aging Parent Tax Credit. This credit is typically used for reimbursement of elderly care costs, but could be applied to equipment for elderly care as well. Some states also have their own version of this credit, so do your research.
If you’re purchasing a walk-in tub for yourself or a loved one, talk to a tax professional to see if you can deduct the expenses on your next return.