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Medical deductions for home improvements

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Q. I’m having a home built in Florida that includes a swimming pool, which my doctor prescribed for a heart ailment. Can I deduct the pool’s cost over time? K.R., Akron, Ohio

A. Not exactly. But you can deduct the difference between the pool’s cost and the home’s increased value as a medical expense (subject to the usual limit of 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income). Example: If the pool cost you $25,000 to install and it increased the home’s value by $10,000, you can deduct $15,000 ($25,000 minus $10,000). Secure independent appraisals of the home’s value with and without the pool. (You can deduct the appraisals as miscellaneous expenses subject to the 2 percent-of-AGI limit). Tip: If you qualify, take the full amount of the medical expense deduction in the year in which you move into the home.

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