Los Angeles, CA asked in Tax Law and Health Care Law for California

Q: Can you define what the IRS looks for with regard to a doctor's certification of chronic illness

My mother, diagnosed with alzheimer's and dementia, went into assisted living in April of 2017. I was unaware of the IRS Publication 502's definition of "chronically ill individual", which requires a Doctor's certification / prescribed care plan made "within the 12 months preceding". I'm doing my taxes now, attempting to claim the assisted living facility as a medical deduction. At this time, I can get 2 things: 1. a statement signed by her doctor now, in 2018, that she met the conditions of "chronically ill individual" in 2017, and 2. Doctor's personal notes dated April 2017 (the month she went into care), which diagnose her with alzheimer's and dementia. I do not believe these personal notes state anything additional to the diagnosis, such as "needs supervised care", etc. Is this adequate certification in case of audit? I've found "certification of chronically ill individual" forms online but they are not official IRS forms, I don't believe there is an official IRS form.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Frank Huerta Jr
Frank Huerta Jr
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Fresno, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I would suggest you ask the doctor to modify the notes or write a specific note regarding the need for supervised care. It is unlikely the IRS will want to examine patient medical records. In most cases, correspondence from the treating Physician will suffice.

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