Dallas, TX 75019
November 30, 2012
22650 West Haven Drive
Arlington, TX 75527
Dear Mr. Smith,
It was great to see you at the Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins Thanksgiving Day game! It was quite enjoyable watching Robert Griffin III play so well.
During our conversation on November 26, 2012, you inquired about the total medical expense tax deductions for the current year. The tax code allows for medical expenses within applicable limits to be deducted and you asked if part of the expense of the home you purchased would be included within the limits as the home was purchased for the pool that is required for your health and well-being.
To reach a conclusion, we consulted relevant provisions form the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and the statute of Stare Decisis, defined as “looking upon past United States Tax Court rulings in order to draw a decision about a current case”. In addition, we reviewed the estimates, appraisals and supporting paperwork you provided.
This was done by summarizing the facts of your case as follows: your physician has prescribed a daily swimming regimen as part of a long-term rehabilitation plan. In absence of a nearby public facility to carry out the routine, you purchased a home with a pool for $175,000. By obtaining estimated replacement costs, you have valued the pool at $20,000 while real estate appraisals suggest the pool only adds $8,000 of value to the property purchased. You have also spent $500 in pool maintenance and $1,800 in other medical expenses.
The IRC generally does not allow capital expenditures to be deducted from taxes unless the expenditure is primarily for medical care and not as a betterment of property. If the expenditure is considered a betterment of property, the deductible amount is the difference between the cost of the improvement and the increase in the property value. Although the IRC does not specify how these regulations apply to property purchased by someone seeking an asset for medical care that was originally intended as an improvement to the property, the court has…