Bill to provide up to $5,000 tax credit for family caregivers stretched to the limit

WASHINGTON—AARP applauded the reintroduction of the Credit for Caring Act, bipartisan legislation that would provide up to a $5,000 nonrefundable federal tax credit for working family caregivers who routinely cut back on their own health care or dip into their savings each year. 

The bill would help offset a portion of the cost of caregiving expenses such as homecare aides, adult day care, home modifications, assistive technology, respite care, transportation or other supports that help caregivers and their loved ones. It was introduced in the Senate by Senators Bennet (D-CO) and Capito (R-WV) and in the House by Representatives Carey (R-OH) and Sánchez (D-CA). Senators Warren (D-MA), Collins (R-ME), Hassan (D-NH), and Murkowski (R-AK) are original co-sponsors.

“Family caregivers are the backbone of our country’s long-term care system, but they are overwhelmed, exhausted and financially strained. Our caregivers desperately need support," said Nancy A. LeaMond, AARP executive vice president and chief advocacy & engagement officer. "That is why AARP is proud to work closely with Senators Bennet, Capito, Warren, Collins, Hassan and Murkowski and Representatives Carey and Sánchez for the introduction of the Credit for Caring Act. We urge Congress to pass this legislation in 2024 to help provide relief and put money back in the pockets of caregivers.” 

More than 48 million Americans are caregivers. Caregivers provide approximately $600 billion in unpaid care each year—doing everything from helping prepare meals and paying bills, to assisting with medication, medical/nursing tasks and general activities of daily living—most often so that their parents, spouses and other loved ones can continue to live independently in their homes and communities.  

Sixty-one percent of family caregivers work either full- or part-time. Many of them face financial risks such as lost income, reduced career opportunities, and subsequently lower Social Security and retirement benefits. AARP research has found that, on average, family caregivers spend more than $7,200 out of their own pockets annually to care for their loved ones, and 45% have reported negative financial impacts such as taking on debt or no longer saving. 

The legislation would provide financial support for individual caregivers by providing up to a $5,000 nonrefundable federal tax credit for eligible working family caregivers, that would cover 30% of qualified expenses they incurred above $2,000. The bill could also help boost the U.S. economy. According to an AARP analysis, if caregivers ages 50 and older had support in the workplace, the U.S. gross domestic product could grow by an additional $1.7 trillion (5.5%) by 2030.