Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public...

Tax questions

February 15, 1997

Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants are answering readers' tax questions through April 15.

Q. Because of the high lead level that was a danger to my small children, I had to move out of my house for six months last year while the lead was being removed. During that period I had to rent an apartment and also pay my mortgage. Is any of that deductible, or any of the cost of having the lead removed?

A. The cost of lead removal is normally a capital expenditure and is added to the basis of your home. However, Revenue Ruling 79-66 stated: "Amounts paid pursuant to a doctor's recommendation for the removal of lead-based paint from any surfaces in a house that are in poor repair and are readily accessible to the owner's dependent child already suffering from lead poisoning are deductible as medical expense. Amounts paid for the covering of lead-based paint with plaster, wall board or paneling are deductiable as a medical expense to the extent that such amounts exceed the increase in the value of the house." However, the cost of repainting scraped surfaces and/or new wall surfaces together with the cost of removing the lead-based paint not readily accessible to the child and not in poor repair are not deductible.

The above advice is for general purposes only and is not intended as legal, accounting or tax advice. Specific situations may vary.

To ask a tax question, call Sundial at (410) 783-1800. Call 268-7736 in Anne Arundel County, 836-5028 in Harford County and 848-0338 in Carroll County. Using a Touch-Tone phone, punch in the four-digit code 6225 after you hear the greeting.

Readers also can e-mail questions through The Sun's Web site -- www.sunspot.net. Visitors to the Web site will be able to access an archive of the questions and answers as well as other useful tax information and links.

Selected questions will be answered in the Business section. No questions will be answered by phone.

Pub Date: 2/15/97

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