Federal Tax

Family and Household Transactions (Portfolio 513)

  • This Portfolio, Family and Household Transactions, No. 513, brings together analyses of the income tax provisions that affect transactions that are generated by maintaining a family and operating household.


This Bloomberg Tax Portfolio separates the analyses into three categories. The Portfolio also presents a history of the provisions as they have been added, expanded, and modified.

First, the Portfolio discusses the general limitation on the deduction of personal, living, and family expenses. It describes the scope of that limitation and the consequence of classifying an expense as a personal, living, or family expense.

Second, the Portfolio discusses exceptions that provide gross income exclusions or allow deductions or credits with respect to family expenses. This brings together in one place analyses of the medical expense deduction, the deduction for personal and dependency exemptions, the child tax credit, the household and dependent care credit, the credit for the elderly and disabled, the adoption assistance credit and the adoption assistance exclusion, and the dependent care assistance credit.

Third, the Portfolio discusses exceptions that provide gross income exclusions or allow credits with respect to household expenses. This brings together in one place analyses of the home mortgage interest credit, the exclusion for reimbursements of certain living expenses, the foster care payment exclusion, exclusions for housing relief, and disaster relief payment exclusions.

The Portfolio does not discuss tax breaks affecting personal and household transactions that are discussed in other Portfolios. These include: the tax treatment of interest and taxes paid in connection with home ownership and the exclusion of gain on the sale of a principal residence, discussed in 594 T.M., Tax Implications of Home Ownership; the treatment of vacation homes and the use of a portion of a principal residence for business purposes, discussed in 547, Home Office, Vacation Home, and Home Rental Deductions; credits with respect to energy conservation, discussed in 512 T.M., Tax Incentives for Production and Conservation of Energy and Natural Resources; alimony payments, discussed in 515 T.M., Divorce and Separation; and tax breaks with respect to education, discussed in 517 T.M., Scholarships and Educational Expenses.

This Portfolio may be cited as Maule, 513 T.M., Family and Household Transactions.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. Personal, Living, and Family Expenses
III. Exceptions Related to Family Expenses
IV. Exceptions Relating to Household Expenses

James Maule
Professor of Law, Emeritus
Villanova University School of Law
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