Discussion:Handicapped Ramps

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Discussion Forum Index --> Tax Questions --> Handicapped Ramps


Jcbostic57 (talk|edits) said:

28 December 2007
Client with MS had handicapped ramps installed in his home, are these costs deductible?

Belle (talk|edits) said:

28 December 2007
yes, as medical expense, but only to the extent ABOVE the increased value of the house due to the 'improvements'. Given the attractiveness of these ramps, the argument could be made that there is no increased value to the property.

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

December 29, 2007
. . . no increased value? What if the next buyer is someone who needs to have ramps? Or maybe someone who just has a hard time walking up/down stairs?

HAPPY TAX (talk|edits) said:

29 December 2007
The answer you're looking for is on pg 6 of Pub 502. The answer is yes, they're deductible, and the publication pretty much comes right out and says don't quibble over the issue of increasing the home's value. A person with MS doesn't need to worry about such nonsense.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

29 December 2007
Agreed Natalie but what if the next buyer doesn't want these ramps. I believe an appraiser would say that these would lower the value of the property.

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

December 29, 2007
I do not have much experience with property values. I do know, however, that every time I have visitors who are in their 60s or above, they make comments about having to walk up the stairs. Given that the population is aging, perhaps these improvements will be seen as quite valuable.

HAPPY TAX (talk|edits) said:

30 December 2007
I know exactly what you mean, Natalie. I have a 2nd-floor office, and I've had some clients become borderline belligerent that my building doesn't have an elevator. At least one threatens to look into suing me every year because my building obviously doesn't meet the federal standards for accommodating the handicapped. Number 1: I don't own the building. Number 2: He's not handicapped, just lazy, out-of-shape, and a smoker. Number 3: He's perfectly entitled to find another tax man with a 1st-floor office or an elevator.

I usually don't hear the complaints from the aging clients. The griping always seems to come from the overweight middle-agers who are put off by actually having to expend a few calories and climb 16 stairs once a year. I would think they'd thank me for providing the only exercise they'll see for the next 12 months. But it never turns out that way. We Americans are just so incredibly lazy. We actually think there must be a federal law protecting us from having to walk up a flight of stairs. Thanks for getting me started on this.

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

December 30, 2007
Oh Happy Tax, before I read your last sentence, I was going to say "don't get me started on the law protecting us." Some people now simply expect government to put signs up warning them about every little possible risk, etc.

Jcbostic57 (talk|edits) said:

30 December 2007
Thank you everyone, your comments are both helpful and amusing!

Peace and abundance! JB

Belle (talk|edits) said:

30 December 2007
Last comments on this before next year:
  • The increased value issue seems kin to the 'reasonable' compensation issue, mixed in with a
beauty is in the eye of the beholder modifier....
  • I concur that someone suffering from MS shouldn't have to even consider this type of crap - too bad the IRS can't cut thru the bs in such cases.

Happy Tax Season to all....

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

31 December 2007
About 6 years ago I included a therapy pool on a client's tax return. She's disabled with lupus, severe arthritis, has mini-strokes almost daily and is legally blind (a mini-stroke hit her optic nerve). Her MD prescribed a therapy pool to help her with the arthritis. It has jets and heat like a sauna and is about the size of 3-4 saunas put together. Cost was around $20,000. I had her MD write a prescription and a letter saying why this would help her. I attached the prescription and the letter to the 1040. Never had any correspondence from the IRS questioning it.

TxSrv (talk|edits) said:

31 December 2007
I attached the prescription and the letter to the 1040. Never had any correspondence from the IRS questioning it.

I'm afraid that's indicative of nothing. Such attachments are not reviewed at all in returns processing. If selected by DIF (a tiny % of filings) then of course they are. However, one very large line item on a return may/may not have a significant effect on the DIF score.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

31 December 2007
Agreed. I'm looking more at the time frame than the documentation.

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

December 31, 2007
DIF?

Sandysea (talk|edits) said:

31 December 2007
Scores for Discriminate function...super computer stuff that the IRS uses...hehehe

LSC CPA (talk|edits) said:

2 January 2008
My husband has MS and we have made adjustments to our home to accomodate his disability and I have taken all of them as medical expenses. I'm not too worried that any of the grab bars, ramps, etc. would increase the value of our home, and I would have a lot to say to any agent that wanted to question me about it.

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