“@Obama2012: Vice President Biden: “When the middle class grows, the wealthy get wealthier, the poor get less poor, and the economy gets stronger.””
For the 2012 tax year, you can take a tax deduction on medically necessary home improvements — like installing a wheelchair ramp and other projects that make life easier for an ill or injured family member — if you: Itemize deductions, Spend more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income on the upgrades (10% of AGI if you’re subject to alternative minimum tax).
Starting in 2013, if you’re under age 65, you can’t take the tax deduction on medical expenses until you spend 10% of your AGI. But if you’re 65 or older in 2013, you can stick with the 7.5% AGI tax deduction threshold through the end of 2016. The rules for tax deductions on medical home improvements are tricky: 1.) Start with what it costs to modify your home. 2.) Subtract the value the upgrades add to your home. 3.) What’s leftover is your tax deduction — if you meet your AGI threshold. How it works: Say you’re 45 years old and spend $20,000 to put a bathroom on the first floor of your home because your husband can’t climb stairs anymore. Your AGI is $100,000 and the bathroom adds $10,000 to the value of your house. 1.) Start with the cost of the improvements: $20,000 2.) Subtract your added home value: $10,000 3.) Of that $10,000 difference, you can only take a deduction for expenses that exceed 7.5% of your AGI or $7,500.
So if you itemize, you can take a $2,500 deduction for the 2012 tax year. Wait until 2013 and you get no deduction because your threshold rises to 10%. If you’re over age 65, though, you can claim a $2,500 deduction. Some of the improvements that you can claim a tax deduction for, according to IRS Publication 502, “Medical and Dental Expenses”: Entrance ramps for your home; Grading the yard before building a ramp, or to make it easier to get in your home; Widening exterior or interior doorways; Widening or removing hallways; Installing railings, support bars, or other bathroom improvements, Lowering or modifying kitchen cabinets and equipment; Moving or modifying electrical outlets and fixtures; Installing porch lifts and other forms of lifts (but elevators generally add value to the house); Modifying fire alarms, smoke detectors, and other warning systems, Modifying stairways, Lead-based paint removal, Adding handrails, Changing door knobs; upkeep of medically necessary upgrades, like elevators, and operating costs; Lead-based paint removal if your child has lead poisoning; and renovating an existing bathroom to make it handicap accessible or adding a new accessible bath. (Houselogic 4/10/12).
Nearly four decades after the United States government mandated the use of the terms “Hispanic” or “Latino” to categorize Americans who trace their roots to Spanish-speaking countries, a new nationwide survey of Hispanic adults finds that these terms still haven’t been fully embraced by Hispanics themselves. A majority (51%) say they most often identify themselves by their family’s country of origin; just 24% say they prefer a pan-ethnic label. Click here to read the entire article.