Medical expenses: what can you deduct?

ID-10068487Patients who traveled outside of Canada for a medical procedure can deduct their medical and travel expenses when preparing their tax return. Each file is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

If you are incorporated, you could deduct up to 100% of your medical costs from your income. Otherwise, your tax relief is limited to the amount by which your costs exceed 3% of your income.

MediTravel International called Canada Revenue Agency in December 2015 for an update. The agent advised the patients to proceed as follows:

– Submit your tax forms as usual WITHOUT asking for a refund for your medical expense

– Wait for your notice of assessmen

– Send a demand of reassessment including all your receipts and relevant documents related to your medical expenses outside of Canada

 Here are the rules:

Medical expenses: If you travel outside Canada to get medical services, you can claim the amounts you paid to a medical practitioner and a public or licensed private hospital. A “medical practitioner” is an individual (such as a doctor or a nurse) who is authorized to practice according to the laws of the jurisdiction that the services are provided in. A “licensed private hospital” is a hospital licensed by the jurisdiction that it operates in.

Travel expenses: If you had to travel at least 40 kilometres (one way) from your home to obtain medical services, you may be able to claim the public transportation expenses you paid (for example, taxis, bus, or train) as medical expenses. Where public transportation is not readily available, you may be able to claim vehicle expenses.

If you had to travel at least 80 kilometres (one way) from your home to obtain medical services, you may be able to claim accommodation, meal, and parking expenses in addition to your transportation expenses as medical expenses.

To claim transportation and travel expenses, the following conditions must be met:

– substantially equivalent medical services were not available near your home;

– you took a reasonably direct travelling route; and

– it is reasonable, under the circumstances, for you to have travelled to that place for those medical services.

If a medical practitioner certifies in writing that you were incapable of travelling alone to obtain medical services, you can also claim the transportation and travel expenses of an attendant who accompanied you.

To determine if the treatment you received outside of Canada is an eligible medical expense, see Medical services provided outside of Canada.

If you have travel expenses related to medical treatment and you also qualify for the northern residents deduction (line 255 of your income tax and benefit return), you may be able to choose how to claim your expenses. For more information, see Form T2222, Northern Residents Deduction.

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