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Raymon Gerard v. Commissioner

    Brief Fact Summary. Petitioners daughter suffered from cystic fibrosis. Exposure to dry and dusty air was dangerous for her. The Petitioners purchased a $1,300 central air unit to help deal with the daughter’s illness.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. A medical care expenditure which is a permanent addition to a taxpayer’s home may be deducted as a medical expense if it does not increase the value of the home.

    Facts. Petitioners had a daughter who had cystic fibrosis, which made it dangerous for her to be exposed to dry and dusty air. On the doctor’s advice, Petitioner expended $1,300 for a central air unit. The central air unit also increased the value of the home by $800. Petitioners deducted the full amount of the air unit as a medical expense.

    Issue. May the central air unit be deducted as a medical expense?

    Held. Judge Mulroney issued the opinion for the Tax Court in holding that the difference between the medical expense and the increase in value to the home may be deducted ($500).

    Discussion. The Tax Court found that the central air unit was clearly a necessary medical expense. However, the Court had to balance the general rule that a medical expense is deductible with the rule that permanent improvements to real property that increase the value of the real property are not deductible.


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