Homeowners throughout the country pay high property taxes, even after their mortgages are paid off. And one thing holds true: those taxes go up every year and rarely, if ever, go down. Paying them can become a real burden, particularly for older adults who are not benefiting from all the services that those taxes pay for.
Property tax relief for seniors can be found if you know where to look. Some older adults mail appeal letters to their local governments while others apply for exemptions, refunds, and deductions. That can take the edge off somewhat, but these homeowners still pay the bulk of the taxes. Over time, that can add up to a large chunk of their earnings and savings.
Financial Planning for Moving into Senior Living
Understanding property taxes and deductions is part of how finances play into moving into a senior community. Civitas Senior Living Chief Financial Officer Jason DuPont shares important tips for being financially wise before moving into senior living, which can get you started in the right direction.
Below, we explain basic information about property taxes and deductions for seniors. To learn more about property tax relief for seniors, we recommend connecting with a financial advisor and reaching out to a Civitas Senior Living community near you. As Jason says, we love helping seniors!
How Are Property Taxes Determined?
Property taxes are determined by local governments where homes are located. They make assessments and calculate taxes based on the property’s value, including the building and land. To calculate the tax, the current rate is multiplied by the property’s current market value; it’s recalculated annually.
Are Senior Living Expenses Tax Deductible?
A senior resident may be eligible for certain tax deductions if:
- They are diagnosed as “chronically ill” by a medical provider who certifies the resident is unable to perform two activities of daily living, like bathing or dressing.
- They require supervision for cognitive impairment, such as dementia.
- A personal care services plan is completed and submitted by a physician, nurse, or social worker. Although these plans are not legally required, senior communities typically prepare them.
- The qualifying medical expenses exceed 7.5% of their adjusted gross income.
Can Assisted Living Tax Deductions Provide Seniors Relief?
Although it isn’t technically property tax relief, assisted living residents have expenses that might be tax-deductible. According to the IRS, “If you, your spouse, or your dependent is in a nursing home primarily for medical care, then the entire nursing home cost (including meals and lodging) is deductible as a medical expense.”
Note that although the IRS states ‘nursing home,’ senior living communities like Civitas also fall under this rule.
Room and board are in another category and aren’t usually tax-deductible unless the community includes a level of medical care in those costs. When a resident lives in a senior community primarily for non-medical reasons, they can only deduct the cost of any actual medical care; lodging and meals would be excluded.
Can I Take Tax Deductions if I Am in Independent Living?
As with assisted living, room and board at independent living communities don’t qualify for tax deductions on their own. Residents can apply for medical expense deductions on their tax forms. Here are examples of potential ones that can help you get up to the 7.5%:
- Medicare premiums
- Medical and dental exams and procedures
- Artificial teeth
- Eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids
- Therapy that’s part of medical treatment
- Equipment and supplies like oxygen, oxygen aid, wheelchairs, and bandages
- Nursing services
The deduction options are the same for assisted living, memory care, and independent living. Medicare and Medicaid are frequent topics of discussion as well. Many communities are private-pay, therefore Medicare and Medicaid may not cover some of the costs.
These insurances may not always cover long-term care services but they can offset costs for medical services like those on the list above.
Senior Property Tax Relief From Our Communities
The unprecedented real estate market we’ve recently experienced has driven up home prices as well as property taxes. If you’ve lived in the same home for many years, you might be paying the same principal and interest rate while the taxes increase. Here’s the good news: The home’s value has likely increased, so when you sell, there might be a considerable profit and the end of paying property taxes.
Senior living residents don’t need to think about those taxes because their communities are responsible for paying all of the property-related costs. That includes hidden costs of living at home – insurance, utilities, and maintenance. And since we’re on the subject of hassle-free living, Civitas residents have peace of mind without upkeep worries about mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, cooking, or cleaning.
Our property tax relief for seniors is a simple system – residents pay an easy, all-inclusive monthly fee that covers property costs, services, and amenities. Imagine paying one bill instead of five or ten.
Living in a senior community can be less expensive than aging in place and that’s more than a relief – it’s a well-earned luxury.
The Other Perks of Senior Living Communities
Civitas communities offer independent living, assisted living, and memory care options for residents. You receive personalized services, on-site conveniences, upscale amenities, and lifestyle programming. Residents receive many benefits from a community:
- Trained, compassionate team members
- Weekly housekeeping
- Weekly personal laundry and linens service
- Medication management
- As-needed, personalized assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming, transferring, and more
- An emergency call system
- Scheduled transportation
- An art studio
- A salon/spa
- A fitness studio
- A theater
- Hobby clubs
- Outings and trips
- Wellness programs
- Themed events
You or a Loved One Can Benefit From Senior Property Tax Relief
We can offer benefits that don’t include paying property taxes. Our team would love to help guide you through the process of shifting to a carefree senior living lifestyle and potentially provide resources through our professional partnerships. Contact us and we’ll show you how affordable senior living can be.