I take care of my recently disabled father…..any tips on tax breaks?

My father has lived with me at my apartment since January. In April he filed for disability, but since that takes several months, he has had no income. I have been paying for medical supplies, I have paid for his clothing, food, gas, cell phone, taken time off work, etc to make sure he is getting the proper care. I was told I could claim him as a dependant on taxes, but I have never known anything about taxes. Any ideas? (Texas)

If your father has less than $3,400 of income and you provided over half of his support, you can claim him as a dependent.

If you are unmarried, and your father has lived with you for over half the year in the home you maintain, then you can file as Head of Household.

You can deduct medical expenses allowable on Schedule A that you have paid for your father.

If you pay someone to care for your father because he is not able to care for himself, you may be able to take the Child and Dependent Care Credit for those expenses (Form 2441).

Your time off from work is not deductible. However you may want to investigate the Family Leave provisions that allow you to take off time from work to care for an immediate family member. Whether or not this time off is with pay depends on the employer, so ask your HR Department about your employer’s Family Leave policy.