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Claiming Your Swimming Pool as a Tax Deduction



Claiming Your Swimming Pool as a Tax Deduction for Medical Expenses

If you or a loved one has a medical condition that requires a swimming pool for therapy, you may be able to claim the cost of constructing a pool as a medical tax deduction. Many Americans are unaware of this tax break, which can also apply to other medical expenses such as assistant medical equipment.

Using a Swimming Pool as a Tax Deduction

Aaron Rogers owner of Southern Poolscapes recently informed a customer that they could claim part of their pool construction as a medical expense deduction on his taxes. “He built the pool to use for therapy after a recent spinal fusion,” said Rogers, “as we tallied the bill up he mentioned, ‘boy, I wish I could claim this on my taxes’, and that’s when I mentioned it to him.”

Rogers claims it isn’t the first time he’s seen someone do this but because his customer had all the right paperwork, a good portion of her swimming pool was tax deductible. “All in, I believe his net deduction came close to $50,000,” said Rogers, “in some instances, if it is doctor-recommended, the IRS allows it.”

Medical Deduction for Swimming Pools & Spas

For example, therapy pools, spas, and other similar facilities that are recommended by a doctor can be eligible for the medical tax deduction. Additionally, if you need assistant medical equipment such as a chair lift, safety rails, or other modifications to the pool, these costs can also be claimed as part of the deduction.

Installing a swimming pool or hot tub at home can be recommended by a doctor for various medical conditions, such as osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and chronic pain. Pools are also commonly used for physical therapy, particularly in cases where a person is unable to bear their full weight on a leg or other part of their body.

Claiming a therapy pool as a tax deduction may be possible with the right documentation.
Claiming a therapy pool as a tax deduction may be possible with the right documentation.

How You Claim Your Pool as a Tax Write-Off

Moreover, if you build a pool for medical reasons, it can make sense to claim the tax deduction. Building a pool can be a significant expense, but if it’s recommended by a physician, the deduction can help offset some of the costs. Plus, having a pool can provide a therapeutic benefit to the individual with the medical condition, improving their quality of life.

However, it’s important to note that there are some limitations to the medical expense deduction. Firstly, you need to itemize deductions on Schedule A, rather than taking the standard deduction. Additionally, eligible expenses must be above 7.5% of adjusted gross income (AGI) to qualify for the deduction. For example, if a couple has an AGI of $200,000, they can only deduct eligible medical expenses above $15,000.

Who is Eligible?

Based on the latest IRS data, in 2020, approximately 4 million tax filers claimed medical expenses as a deduction on their Schedule A. This is in contrast to the approximately 12 million filers who claimed mortgage interest and the approximately 13 million filers who claimed charitable donations. Despite this, the average medical expense deduction was approximately $20,000, indicating that this deduction was particularly valuable for those who qualified and likely came at a time when any tax relief was greatly appreciated.

Even if a taxpayer’s medical expenses don’t exceed the deduction threshold, it’s still important to understand what expenses qualify for the deduction. This is because the same expenses that are eligible for the deduction can also be reimbursed through a Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account, without the requirement of meeting the 7.5% AGI threshold.

Claiming a Medical Expense Deduction for your Pool

To claim the medical expense deduction, you will need to keep good records and documentation of all expenses related to the construction of the pool or other medical expenses. The IRS provides a comprehensive list of eligible medical and dental expenses in Publication 502, which includes costs related to the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. Examples include bandages, guide dogs, nursing home and assisted living care, and special-education tuition.

In at least one case, the IRS did not allow a taxpayer to deduct installation costs for his pool because the taxpayer did not have sufficient medical documentation to support his claim. The taxpayer only provided a statement from his doctor advising him to lose weight, but this alone was not enough to qualify for the medical expense deduction. It’s important to have proper documentation and meet all the requirements set by the IRS to avoid being denied the deduction.

The IRS has an extensive list of tax deductible home improvement expenses that are eligible for a medical deduction. While constructing a swimming pool would be considered a capital expense, it could still be considered for a medical deduction.

When claiming a medical deduction for expenses that add permanent value to a home, such as a swimming pool, the taxpayer is required to obtain an appraisal of the increase in the home’s value as a result of the modification. The amount of the deduction must then be reduced by the appraised value increase. This is to prevent taxpayers from claiming a deduction for expenses that are not directly related to their medical condition.

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Pool News coverage brought to you by Pool Magazine's own Marcus Packer. Marcus Packer is a 20 year pool industry veteran pool builder and pool service technician. In addition to being a swimming pool professional, Marcus has been a writer and long time contributor for Newsweek Magazine's home improvement section and more recently for Florida Travel + Life. Have a story idea or tip you'd like to share with Pool Magazine? Email [email protected] your story idea.

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Floating Swimming Pool Proposed For San Francisco Bay Area



Floating Swimming Pool Proposed For San Francisco Bay Area

A floating swimming pool has been proposed for the city of San Francisco and set to be the city’s first public pool of its kind, bringing a new type of aquatic experience to the Bay Area. Located on the San Francisco Bay, the heated, Olympic-sized pool would float on Piers 30-32, which are currently used for parking and will be rebuilt as part of the project.

The proposed floating pool would be surrounded by retail space, offices, and housing, including an apartment tower with 725 units, 25% of which would offer affordable housing. San Francisco State Senator Scott Wiener proposed legislation in 2021 authorizing the construction of the pool on the state-owned piers. The plan proposes a unique recreational and relaxation space while also protecting the city’s waterfront from climate change and sea-level rise.

The concept has faced challenges, as previous attempts to revitalize the piers have been unsuccessful. Previous plans to turn the area into a stadium, a museum, and a cruise terminal have fallen through. However, Wiener is optimistic that this project will succeed. He believes that the previous plans failed because they tried to rehabilitate the piers, while this project involves completely rebuilding them. The success of the project depends on approval from the city, state, and various other agencies.

Floating swimming pool for San Francisco, CA.

The floating pool would be built on one of the two piers, with the other pier being converted into 375,000 square feet of offices and 45,000 square feet of retail space. The swimming pool would include space for lap swimming, water polo games, and lounging in a hot tub. A section of the Bay surrounding the pool will be dedicated to open water swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

The project, similar to the Plus Pool being proposed for the East River in New York City, aims to create an attractive and sustainable space that will enhance the waterfront, providing opportunities for new homes and public spaces that can be enjoyed by all.

The new plan for the project is a change from earlier versions, which emphasized commercial space on the piers, giving the impression of a large office park with a little waterfront recreation. The latest version of the project emphasizes swimming, with a focus on public access to the Bay and views of the Bay Bridge. The plan now calls for a single pier to be rebuilt, with the remaining pier to be converted into an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a shallow pool for people learning to swim, a hot tub, and shower facilities. Along the Embarcadero, there would be a market hall with food kiosks and artisan stands where makers can sell their goods.

Floating pool proposed for the Bay Area.

The project’s developers, Strada Investment Group and Trammell Crow, hope to attract bay swimmers with a roped-off area similar to the aquatic park near Crissy Field. They plan to heat the pools, most likely with fresh water, rather than the frigid water pumped in from the Bay. Developers have also released new renderings of the piers, which is more public-oriented than previous plans.

The piers’ redevelopment plan is designed to revitalize the Embarcadero and make it a more enjoyable public experience. The project’s success depends on making the Embarcadero feel less like walking by a couple of office building lobbies and more like an engaging, waterfront destination. The concept has undergone several changes in response to feedback from state agencies, particularly those that regulate the waterfront. The changes reflect the desire to create a space that is more in line with the natural environment, with a greater emphasis on public spaces and water recreation.

The project has faced several challenges, including the fact that the site where the project is proposed to be built is owned by the state, which means that special legislative approval would be required before a developer can build there. The project must also get approval from the city, the state, and several other agencies.

Developers hope that the floating pool will provide a unique aquatic experience in San Francisco, drawing locals and tourists alike to the Bay Area. The concept has received strong support from San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who said that the project would help the city to invest in critical infrastructure that would protect the waterfront from climate change and sea level rise while also creating opportunities for new homes and new spaces for the public to enjoy along the city’s gorgeous waterfront.

Photo Credits: Strada Investment Group

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Smugglers Use Swimming Pool To Transport Illegal Immigrants



Smugglers Use Swimming Pool To Transport Illegal Immigrants

Recently, a strange and shocking incident made headlines when U.S Border Patrol agents discovered six people concealed in a fiberglass swimming pool being hauled by a man named Jorge Christopher Perez. The incident occurred at the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint, and Perez was subsequently arrested. The incident highlights the risks and dangers associated with human smuggling and the extreme measures that smugglers may take to avoid detection.

The case of Perez is particularly strange as he claims that he was not aware that people were concealed in the swimming pool. He reportedly agreed to haul the pool as a favor for a stranger he met at Wal-Mart, and he was not being paid for the job. According to the criminal complaint, Perez encountered an unknown person at a Wal-Mart in Mission who asked him to transport a truck and a flatbed trailer loaded with a pool to Alice, TX. Perez claimed that he did not know about anything or anyone concealed in the pool and agreed to do the favor.

When Border Patrol agents encountered Perez, he appeared jittery and nervous, and his eyes grew wide when he saw a service canine approaching his vehicle. During a secondary inspection, the agents discovered six people concealed in the pool, who were determined to be from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras.

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The incident highlights the risks and dangers associated with human smuggling and the lengths that smugglers may go to conceal their human cargo. It is not uncommon for smugglers to use unconventional means to transport people across borders, including vehicles, boats, and even planes. However, the use of a swimming pool as a concealment device is particularly unusual and demonstrates the ingenuity and creativity of human smugglers.

The incident also raises questions about the role of individuals who unknowingly aid smugglers in their operations. While Perez claims that he was not aware of the people concealed in the pool, he may face charges of aiding and abetting human smuggling. The case also underscores the importance of vigilance and reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities.

In recent years, the issue of human smuggling across the U.S southern border has become a pressing concern, with many people resorting to extreme and dangerous measures to cross the border illegally. The use of coyotes, or individuals who specialize in human smuggling, has become prevalent, with many smugglers exploiting vulnerable migrants and subjecting them to inhumane conditions during transport.

The use of a swimming pool to transport illegal immigrants may seem like an odd occurrence, but it is not the first time that such a method has been employed. In 2019, Border Patrol agents rescued a family attempting to cross the Rio Grande using a children’s inflatable pool. The family, consisting of a woman, her three children, and her husband, had inflated the pool and were using it as a makeshift raft to cross the river.

Both incidents highlights the desperate measures that people will take to cross the border illegally and the ingenuity of human smugglers in devising new methods to avoid detection.

The incident also underscores the importance of Border Patrol agents in preventing and detecting illegal immigration. Without the vigilance and quick response of the agents, the family may have faced serious injury or even death in their attempt to cross the river using a children’s pool.

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Cyberattack on Pool in Israel a Wake-Up Call For Pool Pros

A recent cyberattack on a swimming pool in Israel should be a wake up call for pool professionals everywhere.



Cyberattack on Pool in Israel a Wake-Up Call For Pool Pros

The recent cyberattack on a hotel pool controller in Israel highlights the potential risks and vulnerabilities that the pool industry faces in terms of hackers affecting Operational Technology (OT) security. As the use of technology in pool systems continues to increase, it is important for pool companies and professionals to understand the potential dangers and take steps to protect themselves and their clients.

Hackers Shine Spotlight on Lack of Security

The hacktivist group GhostSec claimed it breached the hotel’s pool water system and could control the pH and chlorine levels in the pools. The attackers did not disclose the details of the OT breach, but researchers at Otorio, a cybersecurity company specializing in OT security, investigated the incident and found two Aegis II controllers that were exposed.

The Aegis II controller is a device used to monitor and control the chemical concentration in water in locations such as swimming pools, spas, and water parks. The controllers can communicate with other systems, such as pumps, heaters, and sensors, to maintain water quality.

AEGIS II Controller

In this case, the AEGIS II here was responsible for continuously measuring and controlling the conductivity and biocide concentration to keep pipework and heat exchangers clean.

The AEGIS II Controller’s applications included:

  • Control of bleeding in evaporation cooling systems
  • Control of corrosion inhibitors, de-foamers and dispersants
  • Measuring and control of inhibitor concentration
  • Measuring and control of pH and ORP voltage
  • Metering of biocides

According to Otorio’s report, the hackers could have potentially affected the pH levels of the hotel’s pools, but there is no evidence that any harm was done to the guests or the facility. However, the incident raises concerns about the growing threat of OT cyberattacks and their impact on critical infrastructure and public safety.

Targeting Pool Automation Devices With Weak Security

One of the key concerns in the pool industry is the use of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and other ICS devices that are used to monitor and control the various aspects of pool systems, such as chemical levels, temperature, pumps, and lighting. These devices can be vulnerable to cyberattacks if they are not properly secured, especially if they are connected to the Internet or other networks.

OT cyberattacks are not new, but they are becoming more frequent, sophisticated, and disruptive. Unlike hackers that focus on stealing data or disrupting services, OT attacks can have physical consequences, such as equipment damage, production loss, environmental damage, or human harm.

Finding Out Exactly How It Happened

In the case of this particular pool controller breach, the attackers were able to access the Aegis II controllers with default passwords, which is a common weakness that can be easily exploited. Once the attackers gained access to the controllers, they could potentially manipulate the chemical levels in the pools, which could cause harm to the swimmers or damage to the equipment.

At the discovery of this breach, OTORIO promptly informed Israel’s Cyber Emergency Response Team (CERT) of the incident and worked closely with the authorities to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. As of now, the affected controller is no longer accessible to the public.

This incident highlights the importance for pool professionals to take a proactive approach to OT security by implementing best practices and security controls, such as:

  • Changing default passwords and using strong and unique passwords for each device and user
  • Updating firmware and software patches regularly to fix known vulnerabilities
  • Segmenting the network and restricting access to critical devices and systems
  • Encrypting data in transit and at rest to prevent unauthorized access
  • Monitoring the system for suspicious activities and anomalies that could indicate a cyberattack
  • Having a comprehensive incident response plan in place to minimize the impact of a cyberattack and restore normal operations as quickly as possible.

Installers who are performing upgrades or new installations of equipment should also stay informed about the latest trends and threats in OT security and seek guidance from cybersecurity experts or specialized vendors if needed. By taking a proactive and collaborative approach to OT security, pool professionals can help mitigate the risk of hackers gaining access to equipment and ensure the safety and satisfaction of their clients.

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