just as an FYI, we deducted my parents this year after some clarification.
the lady at the office (Zhongli) didn't know what to do - she wanted a "family name book" (hu ji tun bun -sp?) from canada. i tried hard not to guffaw, really. anyways, she took us to the other place to file in Zhongli (where foreigners are supposed to file). talked to a supervisor, who asked us for a copy of their most recent passports, which they had just renewed 5 months earlier, as proof my parents are still with us. nothing else was necessary - it was explained that the tax office is not interested in seeing if you are sending money to them, just making sure they are still alive.
it's a sizeable deduction - 115K per parent when they are over 70 years old (85K for under 70).
great work by the Zhongli tax office ...