My father is in a nursing home and I pay for the entire cost. Can I deduct this on my tax return?

You may deduct qualified medical expenses you pay for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents, including a person you claim as a dependent under a Multiple Support Agreement, to the extent the medical costs exceed 7.5% of your gross income. You can also deduct medical expenses you paid for someone who would have qualified as your dependent except that the person did not meet the gross income or joint return test.

Nursing home expenses are allowable as medical expenses in certain instances. If you, your spouse, or your dependent is in a nursing home or home for the aged, and the primary reason for being there is for medical care, the entire cost, including meals and lodging, is a medical expense for purposes of the tax deduction. If the individual is in the home mainly for personal reasons, then only the cost of the actual medical care is a medical expense, and the cost of the meals and lodging is not deductible.

You must itemize deductions on Schedule A, Form 1040, to claim a medical expense deduction. You can include only the medical expense paid during the year, regardless of when the services were provided.