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Mileage as a Medical Deduction for Qualified Section 8 Tenants

When I attend the TRACS Industry meetings (and depending on the conversation) I usually hear attendees advocating for the property managers of affordable housing.  Things which resonate to me: “What would make things easier for the property managers?”, “that is making it complicated and too burdensome on the property managers!”.  It makes me feel good that others are not just looking out for themselves.  I see the same for property managers who advocate for their tenants.  That said, I am pretty sure that the tenants don’t always know that their property managers are looking out for them.  For example, I think the medical expenses, (if the tenant qualifies for them) is an area where property managers can really help the tenants.  It makes me wonder if any of the qualified tenants know that there mileage, cost of transportation and lodging can be considered as an allowable medical expense and what is needed for verification?  According to the HUD Handbook 4350.3, the mileage to and from treatment including cost of bus or cab fare and lodging is an allowable expense. It is also an allowable expense to include doctor and vet (assistance/companion animals) visits as well.

When processing the HUD 50059 for a tenant/family who qualifies for medical expense deductions, be sure to use the new IRS mileage rates.  Refer to HUD Handbook 4350.3 Revision 1, Change 3, and Exhibit 5-3 for guidance explaining allowable medical expenses.

·         Travel to and from treatment and lodging

  • Actual cost (e.g., bus fare) or,
  • If driving in a car, a mileage rate based on IRS rules or other accepted standard
For Example:  A tenant travels 45 miles to treatment for Dialysis and must stay at a hotel which cost $110/night.  The tenant brings in a copy of the hotel bill, and documents showing the mileage (using MapQuest directions with amount of mileage). $21.60 + $110.00 = $131.60 towards the medical expense

You can use our form to help you with the verification process:  Sample Medical Expense Verification Form for Mileage.pdf

Documentation for verification would need to include copies of receipts showing that they went to the doctor and then we also recommend using the print out from MapQuest, Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, etc. to show the mileage to and from.
Another verification method is to use a notarized statement or signed affidavit of transportation expenses directly related to medical treatment, if there is no other source of verification.

Using a copy of tenant’s mileage log could be a source of verification but I think that is an unrealistic expectation.  It’s a chore for commercial drivers so for a tenant it would seem like an arduous task.

You can use internet map sites to verify the mileage to/from your residents’ addresses to/from the destination.  For example:

Learn more in our HUD Occupancy Class where we cover Income, Asset and Expenses