How the Family Caregiver Tax Credit Could Support MA Caregivers

Posted on 01/30/20 by Hannah Wright

The average family caregiver spends almost $7,000 a year out-of-pocket to help care for their loved ones, which amounts, on average, to 20% of their total income. In Massachusetts alone, 840,000 people provide over 700 Million hours of unpaid care every year, according to a new report from AARP. The Family Caregiver Tax Credit (House Bill 4466 & Senate Bill 702) would help caregivers in Massachusetts afford the costs of caring for a loved one.

We hope that you urge your legislators to support this bill. Below, we've outlined our most frequently asked questions about the Family Caregiver Tax Credit.

What is the Family Caregiver Tax Credit?

  • The Family Caregiver Tax Credit would pay you back for the money you spend caring for an adult family member, up to $1,500.

What does the Family Caregiver Tax Credit Cover?

  • Improvement to your home to enable the loved one being cared for to remain mobile, safe, and independent.
  • The purchase or lease of equipment needed to assist your loved one in one or more activities of daily living (ADLs).
  • Other expenses for equipment or services that help in the care of your loved one, such as hiring a home care aide, costs associated with respite or adult day care, personal care attendant costs, and health care equipment and technology costs associated with caregiving.

What is an Activity of Daily Living (ADL)?

  • ADL's, or Activies of Daily Living, are routine activities people do every day, typically without assistance. Basic ADLs include:
    • Eating
    • Bathing
    • Getting dressed
    • Toileting
    • Transferring
    • Continence

Who qualifies for the tax credit?

  • You qualify for the tax credit if you have an income under $75k a year as an individual OR $150k a year as a couple AND the person you are caring for matches all of the following three requirements
    • Is age 18 or over;
    • Requires assistance with at least one activity of daily living (ADL), as certified by a licensed health care practitioner;
    • Is a dependent, spouse, parent or other relation by blood or marriage to the family caregiver.

Is this a new tax?

  • No, it is not a tax. This tax credit would pay you back when you file your taxes.

Is this credit available now?

  • Not yet! The Family Caregiver Tax Credit is still a bill in the Massachusetts State House. It has been heard twice this legislative session, but the bill needs your support to move through the process.

How can I help get this bill passed?

  • Ask your Legislators to voice their support for the Family Caregiver Tax Credit and help family caregivers who are struggling to keep their loved ones cared for at home. Call your State Senator and State Representative at (617) 722-2000

How can I learn more?

Read more about the Family Caregiver Tax Credit here. If you still have questions, email us.

This story is provided by AARP Massachusetts. Visit the AARP Massachusetts page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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