Deduction for Elderly Residential Care Expenses

If you or your spouse pays for the care of a parent or grandparent in a residential care home, you may be eligible to claim a tax deduction. Here you can learn more about who is eligible for a deduction, the amount you can claim, how the deduction can be claimed as an alternative to dependent parent allowance and dependent grandparent allowance, and where to go for more information.

Eligibility for Deduction

Under salaries tax and personal assessment, you may claim a deduction for elderly residential care expenses that you or your spouse have paid to a residential care home for the care of a parent or grandparent. A person who is chargeable to tax at the standard rate is also entitled to the deduction.

The following conditions must be satisfied before the deduction is granted:

  • The parent or grandparent is your or your spouse's parent or grandparent.
  • The parent or grandparent is 60 years old or above, unless he/she is entitled to claim an allowance under the Government’s Disability Allowance Scheme.
  • The parent or grandparent was receiving residential care in a residential care home in the year of assessment.
  • The expenses were paid to a residential care home or any person acting on its behalf.
  • The expenses were paid by you or your spouse in the year of assessment (net of any reimbursement by any person or organisation).
  • The residential care home is situated in Hong Kong and is licensed or exempted from licensing under the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance or Residential Care Homes (Persons with Disabilities) Ordinance, or is a nursing home registered under the Hospitals, Nursing Homes and Maternity Homes Registration Ordinance.
  • Only one person can be granted the deduction for the same parent or grandparent for a year of assessment. Where, other than you, someone else is also entitled to claim the deduction and contribute to the payment of the residential care expenses, you must agree among yourselves on who will claim the deduction for that year of assessment. If there is no agreement, no deduction will be allowed.

A “parent” means:

  • your natural father or mother / step parent; or
  • your spouse's natural father or mother / step parent; or
  • a parent by whom you or your spouse was legally adopted; or
  • a parent of your deceased spouse.

A “grandparent” means:

  • your natural grandfather or grandmother / step grandparent; or
  • your spouse's natural grandfather or grandmother / step grandparent; or
  • a grandparent by whom you or your spouse was legally adopted; or
  • a grandparent of your deceased spouse.

 

Amount of Allowable Deduction

The deduction is allowed for expenses actually paid in the year of assessment to a residential care home for the residential care received, subject to an annual deduction ceiling for each parent or grandparent.

The specified deduction ceiling still applies in the year of assessment during which the parent or grandparent reaches 60 years old. In other words, apportionment by reference to the number of days prior to and after the parent’s or grandparent’s 60th birthday is not necessary.

The deduction only covers the cost of care provided to a parent or grandparent who lives in a residential care home (such as for accommodation, food, nursing care and sundry expenses). Medical expenses and private expenses paid by the residential care home on the resident’s behalf (such as personal expenditure needs) and then recovered from any person are not deductible.

Annual deduction ceiling

Year of assessment Deduction ceiling ($)
2011/12 72,000
2012/13 to 2013/14 76,000
2014/15 to 2015/16 80,000
2016/17 onwards 92,000

 

An Alternative to the Granting of Dependent Parent and Dependent Grandparent Allowance

The deduction for elderly residential care expenses is allowed as an alternative to the granting of dependent parent and dependent grandparent allowance.  When a deduction for elderly residential care expenses has been allowed for a parent or grandparent, a dependent parent and grandparent allowance for the same parent or grandparent would not be granted for the same year of assessment. The deduction for elderly residential care expenses takes precedence over the granting of allowances.  You cannot make claims for both.


Example

You are not paying tax at the standard rate. During the year of assessment 2016/17, you pay $50,000 to a residential care home for your father who is over the age of 60. You can choose to claim the deduction for elderly residential care expenses ($50,000) or the dependent parent allowance ($46,000). Obviously you will gain more tax benefit by claiming the deduction for the expenses.

How to Lodge a Claim

You may claim the deduction for elderly residential care expenses in Part 8.4 of your Tax Return – Individuals (BIR60). If a claim for the deduction is not made in the tax return and you wish to do so after submitting your tax return, you may complete form IR6071 and return it to the Inland Revenue Department . The claim should be lodged not later than 6 years after the end of the year of assessment to which the claim relates.

Download form IR6071 (pdf file)

Supporting Documents

When you file your tax return, you need not attach documents to support your claim. However, you should retain documentary evidence (such as receipts issued by the residential care home) for production to the Inland Revenue Department for verification when required.

Further Information

More information on the deduction for elderly residential care expenses is available through the following links.

Departmental Interpretation and Practice Notes No. 36: Concessionary Deductions: Section 26D - Elderly Residential Care Expenses (pdf file)Frequently asked questions about elderly residential care expenses
Last revision date: May 2017