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Are Handicap Placards Tax Exempt?

One of the most useful things you can get if you’re disabled is a handicap placard – something most people know about. What many people don’t realize if that if you are disabled, then you may be eligible to certain tax deductions and credits, including those associated with the costs of handicap placards.

Taxes can be confusing, but they don’t have to be. Here’s what you need to know about handicap placards, how to know if they’re tax-exempt where you live, and what you can do to ensure you get the tax credit when April rolls around.

Who Does the IRS Considered Disabled?

The Internal Revenue Service, the government entity in control of taxes, considers a person disabled if:

  • They suffer from a mental or physical impairment such as hearing or sight impairment that limits one or more major life activities such as walking, working, speaking, or breathing; and/or
  • They suffer from a mental or physical disability that functionally limits their employment.
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Image by Marianne Bos on Unsplash: Are handicap placards tax exempt? Maybe!

What Tax Benefits Are Available?

There are a few major tax benefits that disabled drivers may be eligible for.

Large standard deductions

This depends on your filing status and whether an exemption for you can be filed by another taxpayer.

Some disability payments

Some disability payments are not taxable, such as military service disability payments, but others are, such as workers’ compensation, compensation for permanent loss of your body, or compensatory damages for physical sickness or injury.

Impairment-related work expenses

If your employment is limited because of a mental or physical disability, then you can deduct any work expenses related to your disability, such as a disabled parking placard.

How To Receive The Correct Tax Exemptions

If you need a disabled parking placard to move through your daily life, including getting to work, then you can qualify for a tax deduction based on that. A 7.5% adjusted gross income limit is not required to be used for any impairment-related work expenses such as a parking placard. Check in the IRS handbook under Miscellaneous Deductions to make sure you’re giving yourself enough credit and itemizing your deductions correctly.

How To Get A Disabled Parking Permit

If you need a disabled parking permit in order to get to school or work, or even to participate in daily activities such as going to the store, then there are a few things you need to do.

First and foremost, you should understand if you’re eligible for a disabled parking placard. Each state will have its own requirements for disabled parking placards. Typically, the state Department of Motor Vehicles will have the information you need to apply for a disabled parking placard for your vehicle.

The form you fill out will require your condition to be verified by a doctor, nurse practitioner, optometrist, or other health care professional.

In general, you can qualify for a disabled parking placard if you have certain conditions. Some of the most common are:

  • Lung disease
  • Impaired mobility that requires you to use a cane, wheelchair, or other mobility devices
  • Heart disease
  • Loss of use or limited use of arms or legs
  • Vision issues
  • A condition that impacts your ability to walk over 200 feet
Dr Handicap - tax
Image by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels: Tax exemptions for disabled drivers are out there if you know where to look!

How To Get A Disabled Parking Placard

Again, how to get a disabled parking placard varies from state to state, as does its cost. In some states it is free, while in others you will be expected to pay a small fee.

The process to get one is fairly similar no matter where you live and includes:

  • Obtaining an application from your local Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Completing the form with the help of your health care provider
  • Submitting the application in person or by mail

States offer both temporary and permanent parking placards. Temporary passes are generally good for about six months, while permanent disabled parking placards do not expire. You are legally allowed to use this placard in any car in which you are traveling, whether you are the driver or not. Just be careful not to loan your placard out to anyone or you could risk losing it permanently.

When tax time rolls around, it’s important to know what exemptions and deductions you are eligible for. For those with disabilities, the list may be longer than you realize. You don’t want to miss out on exemptions for things you need to use every day, such as a disabled parking placard.

Featured image by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Are There Any Disability Tax Deductions For Wheelchair-Accessible Vans?

In 2020, there are plenty of excellent, state-of-the-art wheelchair-accessible vans on the market. These vans make traveling in a wheelchair, either as a driver or passenger, comfortable, safe, and enjoyable.

Options abound when it comes to making a van wheelchair-accessible. You can buy a purpose-built wheelchair van, or you can adapt a van that was not purpose-built for wheelchair users.

Wheelchair-accessible vans are not a luxury, however. For most wheelchair users, or people who care for a wheelchair user, a wheelchair-accessible van is truly essential. For many  wheelchair users, a wheelchair-accessible van is an indispensable tool and a must-have to live a comfortable and independent life.

But wheelchair-accessible vans, either purpose-built or adapted, do not come cheap. The technology is life-changing, but it is also expensive. Disabled wheelchair users and their carers incur a lot of extra costs that non-wheelchair users do not have to worry about.

This means that as a wheelchair user you need to be savvy and clued-in about where and how you can save money. Major savings can come in the form of tax deductions. A lot of medical expenses are tax-deductible, so you can save a lot of money by educating yourself on your tax entitlements.

Dr Handicap - wheelchair-accessible van
Image by StockSnap on Pixabay: Are wheelchair-accessible van adaptations tax-deductible?

How Do I Make My Van Wheelchair-Accessible?

Many people choose to buy a purpose-built wheelchair-accessible van. But for many others – for example, people who are newly disabled – converting their current van to make it wheelchair-accessible is a good option.

There are lots of excellent adaptations you can make to a van to make it wheelchair-accessible, and most of these adaptations are tax-deductible. The most common adaptations people make to make their van wheelchair-accessible are:

  • Raised roof
  • Dropped floors
  • Wheelchair lifts
  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Transfer seats

What Are The Disability Tax Deductions For Handicap Drivers?

As a handicap driver you are entitled to various tax deductions. Essential medical expenses are tax-deductible once they are above 7.5% of your gross income. This means you add up all of your deductible medical expenses, and the amount of the total that is above 7.5% of your gross income is deductible.

What Tax Deductions Are Available For Wheelchair-Accessible Vans?

The most common deductions for wheelchair-accessible vans are essential adaptations, and a portion of the cost of a purpose-built wheelchair-accessible van.

Purpose-built wheelchair-accessible vans are partly tax-deductible. The cost of the wheelchair-accessible van that is above the cost of a similar van without wheelchair-accessible features is tax-deductible.

The most common tax-deductible adaptations to make a van wheelchair-accessible are:

  • Electric hand controls
  • Left-side accelerator pedal
  • Pedal and steering-wheel extensions
  • Raised roof
  • Dropped floors
  • Wheelchair lifts
  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Transfer seats

How Do I Apply For Disability Tax Deductions For A Wheelchair-Accessible Van?

Register your tax-deductible medical expenses on your tax return when you submit it to the IRS each year in April. On each year’s tax return, include the tax-deductible expenses from that year. This expenses total is then taken off your gross income and you only pay tax on the reduced income amount.

Who Is Eligible For Disability Tax Deductions For Wheelchair-Accessible Vans?

Tax deductions for wheelchair vans and van adaptations are available to the disabled person, spouse, or caregiver that paid the tax-deductible expense.

What Other Travel Expenses Can I Claim A Tax Deduction On As A Disabled Driver?

As a disabled driver you can also claim for travel costs that accrue from essential medical related travel. This can include gas, parking fees, and toll fees that are spent on the wary to and from medical appointments.

Dr Handicap - calculator
Image by Shutterbug75 on Pixabay: You can apply for disability tax deductions on your IRS tax return.

How Else Can I Save Money As A Disabled Driver?

A great way to save money as a disabled driver is by getting a disabled parking permit. A disabled permit enables its owner to park in designated disabled parking spaces. This is incredibly helpful and a great money-saver.

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A Disabled Parking Permit?

The qualifying conditions to get a disabled parking permit change slightly state by state. But in all states, being a wheelchair user will qualify you to hold a disabled parking permit.

How Do I Apply For A Disabled Parking Permit?

To apply for a disabled parking permit, arrange a telemedicine consultation with a medical professional through Dr. Handicap. Once the medical professional verifies your disability they will sign and fill in the relevant sections of a DMV application form and email it directly to you.

The government is there to give you the help you deserve, as a disabled person, in the form of tax deductions and disabled parking permits. So don’t miss out on what you are legally entitled to!

Featured image by Marcus Aurelius on Pexels

Is A Handicap Ramp Tax-Deductible?

Having a disability can add a lot of extra expenses to life. Many disabled people need to use costly equipment to help them get around. This is certainly the case when it comes to travel and driving a vehicle.

People who are disabled incur a lot of expenses that are directly related to their disability. Disabled drivers and caregivers often need to adapt their vehicles to accommodate their specific situation. Disabled people also incur extra expenses when they need to visit medical centers, doctors’ surgeries, and hospitals.

The US government takes these extra expenses into account when collecting federal tax. The equipment that a disabled person must purchase to alleviate or prevent injury is essential for them to be able to function and live their life. For this reason, a lot of medical equipment is tax-deductible.

Dr Handicap - tax calculation
Image by stevepb on Pixabay: Is a wheelchair ramp tax-deductible?

What Does ‘Tax-Deductible’ Mean?

Filing a tax return (and dealing with taxes in general) can be quite confusing for most people. The federal tax system is complicated and sometimes convoluted. But understanding the tax system, and your entitlements within it, can save you a lot of money.

The term ‘tax-deductible’ is important to understand. When an expense is tax-deductible it means that you can list it as an essential expense. These essential expenses are subtracted from your gross income. This means that the amount of income that is considered ‘profit’ (and that you therefore need to pay income tax on) is lowered. This means you pay less overall income tax.

Is Durable Medical Equipment Tax-Deductible?

Most durable medical equipment qualifies as tax-deductible. The IRS allows you to claim the costs of any tax-deductible medical equipment that exceeds 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income. This means you just add all of your tax-deductible medical expenses incurred during the tax year together and the portion of it that exceeds 7.5% of your gross income is tax-deductible.

Is A Handicap Ramp Tax-Deductible?

A handicap ramp for your vehicle or home is a piece of durable medical equipment that qualifies as tax-deductible.

What Disabled Vehicle Adaptations Are Tax-Deductible?

Many disabled people, and their caregivers or family members, need to purchase expensive durable medical equipment for their vehicles. Most of this equipment is tax-deductible.

The most common tax-deductible vehicle adaptations are:

What Vehicle Adaptations Are Not Tax-Deductible?

Several vehicle adaptations that can be used by people with a disability, but are also used by people who do not have a disability and therefore are not considered essential, are:

  • Steering wheel knobs
  • Automatic transmission
  • Power steering
  • Running boards
  • Grab bars

Are Purpose-Built Wheelchair Vans Tax-Deductible?

In 2020, there are several fantastic, state-of-the-art, purpose-built wheelchair vans on the market. These vans come already fitted with design features that make driving as a wheelchair-user, or transporting a wheelchair-user, easy.

The cost of these vans is also partly tax-deductible. The part of the cost that is tax-deductible is the amount that the wheelchair van cost over and above the cost of what a similar van that was not wheelchair-friendly would cost.

Dr Handicap - tax deductions
Image by stevepb on Pixabay: Most disabled vehicle adaptations are tax-deductible.

Is Travel For Medical Purposes Tax-Deductible?

Travel costs incurred when traveling for medical purposes can also be included in tax-deductible medical expenses. This can include the cost of fuel, parking fees, and toll fees that were paid on medically essential journeys – for example, to a hospital, medical center, or physiotherapist.

Can The Family Or Caregiver Of A Disabled Person Claim Tax Deductions?

It is not only a disabled person themselves who can claim tax deductions. A spouse, a dependent, or a qualified relative can also claim tax deductions for qualifying medical expenses incurred.

Can A Handicap Permit Save You Money?

A handicap parking permit is another great way to save money as a disabled driver, or caregiver. A handicap permit will entitle its holder to park for free in parking spaces in lots, and also in metered, on-street spaces in many jurisdictions in the country.

How Can You Get A Handicap Parking Permit?

The best way to get a handicap parking permit is to arrange an online consultation with a registered medical professional through Dr. Handicap. Once the medical professional verifies your disability they will complete and sign the relevant sections of a DMV form and email it directly to you.

Featured image by Steven HWG on Unsplash

10 Things You Need To Know About Tax As A Disabled Driver

For millions of disabled Americans, the ability to drive is an essential and invaluable lifeline. Without access to a vehicle, many disabled Americans would be left stranded, cut off from society and the businesses and amenities we all depend on.

Many disabled drivers need to use vehicles that have been modified and adapted. Specially adapted vehicles enable people with a very wide range of disabilities to enjoy a high level of freedom and independence. Modern technology has enabled the creation of ingenious vehicle modifications that make it possible for disabled drivers to operate their vehicles safely and effectively.

Adapted vehicles for disabled drivers do not come cheap. A lot of extra expenses are associated with being a disabled driver. The IRS realizes that these extra expenses are not luxuries, they are essential necessities. For this reason, the IRS allows many of the expenses related to driving with a disability to be tax-deductible.

As a disabled driver, it is crucial that you understand your tax rights. Being knowledgeable about tax and what you are entitled to as a disabled driver, or as a caregiver to a disabled person, can save you a lot of money.

Here are 10 things you need to know about tax as a disabled driver.

Dr Handicap - income tax
Image by stevepb on Pixabay: Are you taxed as a disabled driver? Yes, but deductions may be available.

1. Don’t Miss The Tax Return Deadline

As a disabled driver it is important that you file your tax return correctly and on time. Disabled driver tax deductions can put a lot of money back in your pocket, so you don’t want to miss out!

The deadline for filing your IRS tax return is in April. The exact date changes year to year. In 2021 the federal tax date is Thursday April 15th.

State tax returns can be filed along with federal tax returns, but some people choose to file their state return separately. State tax return deadlines vary, so it is important to consult with your local state tax agency in order to know the deadline in your state.

2. A Tax Advisor Can Save You Money

Some people choose to file their own tax return. In fact, some people love learning about tax and doing their own return. But this is certainly not everybody!

People who find tax tedious and dread doing their own tax return are surely in the majority. If you are someone who has no interest in learning about tax, it can be helpful and profitable to pay a tax advisor to do your tax return for you. Commissioning an expert tax advisor can end up saving you a lot of money.

3. Disabled Drivers Can Qualify For A Sales Tax Exemption

Disabled drivers can qualify for a sales tax exemption on the purchase of a vehicle in some states. Check with your local tax authorities to find out what applies in your state.

4. Most Disabled Vehicle Modifications Are Tax-Deductible

Essential vehicle adaptations are tax-deductible. These essential adaptations include:

  • Wheelchair lifts
  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Electronic hand controls
  • Left-side accelerator pedals
  • Raised ceilings
  • Lowered floors

5. Some Disabled Vehicle Modifications Do Not Qualify For A Tax Deduction

Some vehicle modifications are not considered to be essential and so do not qualify for a tax deduction. These include:

  • Power steering
  • Automatic transmission
  • Running boards
  • Grab bars
  • Steering wheel knobs

6. Specialist Wheelchair Vans Are Tax-Deductible

If you buy a specialist wheelchair van, the difference in cost between a non-wheelchair van of the same type and the wheelchair van is tax-deductible.

7. Driving Expenses For Medical Purposes Are Tax-Deductible

You can claim a tax deduction for driving expenses that are for medical purposes. This can include gas, parking, and toll fees incurred during travel to doctor’s surgeries and hospital, and any other medical related travel.

Dr Handicap - disabled driver tax
Image by stevepb on Pixabay: It is crucial to know your tax rights as a disabled driver.

8. Parents And Caregivers Of Disabled People Can Qualify For A Sales Tax Exemption

Tax deductions for vehicle adaptations and specialist wheelchair vans also apply to parents and caregivers of disabled people for the vehicles that they use to transport the disabled person, or people, they are responsible for.

9. You Can Get A Tax Deduction If You Buy An Eco-friendly Vehicle

If you choose to buy an eco-friendly vehicle you can get a federal tax deduction. This is intended to encourage people to buy vehicles that will do less damage to the environment. These tax incentives can come in the form of income tax credits or tax refunds.

10. If You Have Paid Tax In Error You Can Claim A Refund

Many disabled drivers are due tax refunds. In order to receive a tax refund you must file a tax return claiming the refund within three years of the original return’s due date.

If you are a disabled driver, or a caregiver to a disabled person, you are also entitled to a disabled parking permit. The quickest and easiest way to apply for a disabled permit is to arrange an online consultation with a medical professional through Dr. Handicap. The consulting medical professional will evaluate your claim and then write you a DMV form, which will be emailed to you straight away.

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