Many home caregivers may be interested in the proposed Credit for Caring Act (S. 1151), which was introduced to the Senate Finance Committee in May. The House has also received this bill (H.R.2505). If enacted, it could provide a tax credit of as much as $3,000 to qualified home caregivers — many of whom would dearly welcome that kind of financial relief.
As AARP has pointed out, the unpaid value of the care provided by home caregivers comes out to some $470 million every year. More than ¾ of home caregivers use at least some of their own money to pay expenses related to the care of their loved one. Home caregivers tending to adults spent, on average, 20% of their dear income on expenses related to caregiving.
If the Credit for Caring Act was enacted in its current form, home caregivers could get a tax credit for 30% of the expenses (assuming they paid at least $2000), up to a total of $3000. This would apply to children, parents, spouses, or other legally defined relationships who can document qualified expenses and who earned at least $7,500 in income. Qualified expenses are listed as expenditures for respite care, counseling, support groups, or training; lost wages for unpaid time off related to providing long-term care; travel costs related to care; and technologies needed to provide appropriate care for the loved one.
There are other details as well, including a cap on the amount of money home caregivers can earn and still be eligible ($75,000 for an individual, $150,000 for joint filers).
The full text of the Senate bill can be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1151/text.
Whether the bill will move out of committee and to the floor of the Senate and House for discussion and a vote is unknown at this time. Home caregivers who have a strong opinion about this bill should contact their Senators and Representatives to express their views on it.