MS Home Modifications

MS Home Modifications

My condition has forced us to relocate and build a home that will accommodate my needs. I hear about government help and tax relief but cannot find anything out there who do I talk to (e.g. attorney, tax advisor, etc). Please advise.


You can deduct the cost of special equipment and home improvements if the main purpose is your medical care. These can include: adding an accessible entrance ramp, installing a lift, widening doorways, building handrails, modifying cabinets, etc. Your deduction is limited if the improvements increase the value of your home, or were for personal motives such as aesthetic reasons. Specifically, you cannot deduct your expenditures to the extent of any increase in the value of your home (most folks might be wondering if any homes can increase in value in this market!). Example: You spend $12,000 to add a wheel chair ramp to your front porch, and an elevator to your home. Your home was worth $350,000 before and $353,000 after. Your $12,000 expenditure is reduced by $3,000 the increase in your home’s value, providing a $9,000 tax deduction.

If you’ve spent a lot, have your house appraised before and after the improvements. Since improvements to your home to accommodate a disability generally don’t increase the value of your home the least costly and safest approach may be to have a local realtor give you a before and after valuation. The cost will be modest compared to a formal appraisal, but far more persuasive than ignoring the issue until you’re audited.

For information on government help, you should probably contact the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in your area they have a host of resources. You might also check out their web site. The tax issue is really one for an accountant. Hopefully the above will get you started.

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