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Home improvements can be deductible as a medical expense if the main purpose is medical care for you, your spouse or your dependents.

These expenses are fully deductible subject to the limits discussed below if they don’t increase the value of your home. Examples of such fully deductible expenses are improvements to make your home wheelchair accessible or to make it easier for a disabled person to get around the home, including:

  • Constructing entrance or exit ramps for your home
  • Widening doorways at entrances or exits to your home
  • Widening, or otherwise modifying, hallways and interior doorways
  • Installing railings, support bars, or other modifications to bathrooms
  • Lowering or modifying kitchen cabinets and equipment
  • Moving or modifying electrical outlets and fixtures
  • Installing porch lifts and other forms of lifts
  • Modifying fire alarms, smoke detectors and other warning systems
  • Modifying stairways
  • Adding handrails or grab bars anywhere (whether or not they are in bathrooms)
  • Modifying hardware on doors
  • Modifying areas in front of entrance and exit doorways; and,
  • Grading the ground to provide access to the residence.

However, some improvements increase the value of your home. For example: installing an elevator so a disabled person does not have to use stairs or installing a new bathroom on the ground floor of your home to avoid having to use stairs. For these types of improvements, you must reduce the amount of your deduction by the increase in value of your home.

Here are some additional resources that may help with your understanding of this topic:

  • Pew Trusts – more information on tax credits for mobility upgrades and home safety fixes.
  • IRS – Details on rules and regulations surrounding tax deductions for home modifications – included as part of the “Capital Expenses” content.