Ask The Expert #3

Q.  This will sound like a dumb question, but I forgot to deduct medical bills on my tax return on my return last year.  Can I deduct it on this year’s tax return?

A.  First of all, that’s that not a dumb question.  Lots of people “assume” that they can do things on a tax return and fail to take take the time to research or ask a tax professional.  Fortunately, you are smart enough to ask a tax professional when you don’t know the answer.  I’m sure the IRS wishes more people were like you.  However, you can’t deduct a deduction on a different year’s tax return.  You will need to file an amended return to make the correction in the year of the deduction.  You amend a return on a 1040X.  You will need to do some research.  Completing a 1040X is fairly complex if you have never done one before.


Q.  My daughter and her baby live with, and I pay for the utilities and food.  Can I claim my grandchild?

A.  According to the IRS rules, if only one of the individuals is the child’s parent, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the parent.  Sorry, your daughter is entitled to claim her child even though you are paying the bills.


Q.  My uncle always deducts his remodeling on his home on his tax return.  Is it ok to deduct remodeling?

A.  You can only deduct the sales tax on building materials used for your home, not the remodeling cost.  If he gets caught, he will regret it.  If you are disabled, as part of medical expense, you can deduct remodeling to accommodate your disability.  However, the details should be researched first. 

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