Many people are taking a closer look at buying long-term care insurance to protect themselves and their families — just in case. Within limits, premiums paid for qualified policies are deductible as an itemized medical expense. For 2019, premiums for qualified policies are tax deductible to the extent that they, along with other unreimbursed medical expenses, exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income.
The typical long-term care insurance policy will pay for nursing home, home care, or other long-term care arrangements after a waiting period has expired, reimbursing expenses up to a maximum limit specified in the policy. Eligibility for reimbursement usually hinges on the covered individual’s inability to perform several activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing.
Premiums are eligible for a deduction only up to a specific dollar amount (adjusted for inflation) that varies depending upon the age of the covered individual. The IRS limits for 2019 are:
Long-Term Care Insurance Premium Deduction Limits, 2019
Age Premium Limit
40 or under $420
Over 70 $5,270
These limits apply on a per-person basis. For example, a married couple over age 70 filing a joint tax return could potentially deduct up to $10,540 ($5,270 × 2). Keep in mind, however, itemized medical expenses are deductible only to the extent that they, in total, exceed 10% of adjusted gross income (AGI).
Self- Employed? You may deduct the premiums for long-term care insurance above-the-line. Therefore, if your medical expenses don’t exceed the 10% AGI threshold or you can’t itemize deductions, you can still deduct the long-term care insurance premiums above-the-line. The deduction is limited to your net self-employment income.
NJ Filer? Premiums paid for long-term care insurance are deductible as medical expenses. In contrast to the IRS threshold of 10%, the threshold to deduct medical expenses for NJ is only 2%. Premiums are first subject to the same IRS tables as shown above. The premiums for self-employed individuals are not subject to the 2% NJ threshold.
NY Filer? You may claim a credit equal to 20% of the premiums paid for the purchase of coverage under a qualifying long-term care insurance policy.
As everyone’s situation is different, please contact one of our tax professionals, at Urbach & Avraham, CPAs, to discuss your personal circumstances.