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Deducting a relative's medical expenses

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in Small Business Tax

Q. I am confused about apparent conflicts regarding medical deductions that you wrote about in a recent article and a Mail Call answer. The first one says you can write off expenses paid for a non-dependent relative (in my case, a self-supporting daughter). But the other story says the relative must be a dependent to earn such deductions. Don’t these items conflict? K.M.

A. Not if you look closely. Generally, you can deduct medical expenses paid on behalf of a qualifying dependent relative, meaning you provide more than half of his or her support, regardless of his or her income. Thus, you may be able to deduct medical expenses paid for a relative who cannot be claimed as a deductible dependent on your 1040. Tip: For 2006, you can claim a dependency exemption deduction for a qualifying relative whose gross income is under $3,300, as long as you meet the other requirements for dependency exemptions.

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