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Tax Q&A: Taking care of parents

One more interesting tax question:

I am an American citizen who was born in Jamaica. I take care of my mother who still lives there. Can I take anything off my taxes for the money I pay for her to live in a facility there?
-Marilyn, Plantation

Sorry, but you won't be able to do that.

If your mother were a U.S. citizen or a resident for tax purposes, Randi Grant, who is director of taxation and personal financial planning at Berkowitz Dick Pollack & Brant Certified Public Accountants & Consultants, said you could claim her as a dependent if she meets some other requirements.

She would have to be unmarried, have gross income of less than $3,650 and you must be providing more than half her support in order to claim her as a dependent.

Categories: Taxes (41)
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About the author
You've got the job of managing your money. No one in school taught you how. But you and I, we can teach each other, how to handle it, how to save for retirement, how to make money last, how to educate the kids, how to make a budget work. The conversations I have with my readers are fun. Money's important, but discussing it does not have to be boring.

Harriet Johnson Brackey Harriet Johnson Brackey, the personal finance columnist for the Sun Sentinel, is an award-winning business reporter. Her columns for 2008 were named "The Best in the Business," a national award chosen by her colleagues at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Brackey has worked at Business Week magazine and at USA TODAY, where she was a founder and part of the original staff of the Money section at the country's first national newspaper. After nearly 11 years there - spent covering the 1980s bull market, the insider trading scandals, the 1987 crash - Brackey left Washington, D.C., and came to The Miami Herald. She spent the next decade writing a column about personal finance that chronicled the stock market's Internet boom and bust, as well as the popular Money Makeover features.

Brackey also has done commentaries for Marketplace Money, which airs on National Public Radio and The Nightly Business Report which is broadcast on more than 250 PBS television stations nationwide. She also has been a radio guest on WLRN’s Miami Herald News.
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