Are walk-in tubs tax deductible?

Possibly, but it depends on if you need one

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Walk-in tubs aren’t cheap, but they provide a safer way to bathe when you have mobility issues or trouble with balance using a standard tub. Financing a walk-in tub takes some planning, but the good news is they can be tax deductible. You just need to meet certain criteria.

If you’re looking to make your bathroom more accessible, you might consider a walk-in tub. Falls can happen anywhere in your home, but the bathroom is a place where they happen more often, according to a 2019 study published in the Journal of Surgical Research. Many assume walk-in tubs are only for older adults, but as the study shows, those who are between the ages of 41 and 60 can benefit from them as well.

Of course, paying for a walk-in tub can be costly. With the amount of money you may pay, it’s worth checking to find out if you can deduct the price of your tub from your annual taxes. Here’s what you need to know.

Key insights

The cost of a walk-in tub might be tax deductible if it's deemed medically necessary by a healthcare professional.

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To qualify for the deduction, the walk-in tub must be prescribed by a doctor to address specific medical conditions that make traditional bathing unsafe.

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Walk-in tubs can be expensive, ranging from $2,000 to over $20,000, plus installation costs. Even with a tax deduction, it might not cover the full expense.

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Can I deduct my walk-in tub from my taxes?

You can deduct the price of a walk-in tub from your taxes as long as your tub is considered medically necessary, which would make it a medical expense.

According to the IRS, the medical and dental expenses you deduct need to exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income for the year.

If you’re a caregiver of someone who needs a walk-in tub, you might be able to claim the cost of the walk-in tub under the dependent care tax credit. See the IRS website for more details.

Walk-in tubs as a medical necessity

Some instances where you might need a walk-in tub include:

  • Being an older adult
  • Having limited mobility
  • Being a wheelchair user
  • Being at an increased risk for falls
  • Having a medical condition where your balance or mobility is affected, such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, diabetes or muscular dystrophy

If you want to deduct the cost of your walk-in tub, you need to prove that it’s a medical necessity. The IRS states that equipment installed in your home for treatment reasons, including home modifications, can be deducted from your taxes.

The term “medically necessary” means your doctor has provided a prescription for an accessible tub to treat or relieve symptoms of your medical condition that would otherwise make bathing in a standard tub unsafe. Your health care provider can write a letter of medical necessity that explains to your insurance provider, including Medicare, that the tub you purchase is medically required.

» COMPARE: Best walk-in tub companies

How much do walk-in tubs cost?

Standard models of walk-in tubs can cost about $2,000 to $5,000 before installation costs, while more premium models can run more than $20,000. The cost differs depending on additional features you may want, such as jets, heated backrests or light therapy.

Installing a walk-in tub can cost anywhere from $700 to upward of $3,000. This can include the cost of buying a new water heater. Brandon Walker, superintendent at ASAP Restoration in Phoenix, Arizona, said a complex installation could cost as much as $8,000.

» MORE: How to get financial assistance for walk-in tubs

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Does Medicare pay for walk-in tubs?

Unfortunately, a walk-in tub isn’t on the list of Medicare’s durable medical equipment (DME) and isn’t covered under Medicare parts A and B. It doesn’t hurt, though, to ask your Medicare Advantage plan about coverage or reimbursement.

Walk-in tubs aren’t covered under medical insurance, but your state program may provide financial help under Medicaid if you qualify.

If you meet the criteria for a walk-in tub tax deduction, you can take more comfortable and safe baths and decrease the amount of your taxable income.

Article sources

ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:

  1. Journal of Surgical Research, “Falls in the Bathroom: A Mechanism of Injury for All Ages.”Accessed May 27, 2024.
  2. IRS, “Topic no. 502, Medical and dental expenses.” Accessed May 27, 2024.
  3. IRS, “Child and Dependent Care Credit Information.” Accessed May 27, 2024.
  4. IRS, “Medical and Dental Expenses.” Accessed May 27, 2024.
  5., “Durable medical equipment (DME) coverage.” Accessed May 27, 2024.
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