Did you have medical expenses? You may be able to claim them on your income tax and benefit return

Did you know?

If you paid for hospital services, paid to live in a nursing home, or bought medical supplies such as pacemakers, vaccines, or walking aids, you may be able to claim a non-refundable tax credit based on these and other eligible expenses when filing your income tax and benefit return. Non-refundable tax credits reduce your federal tax. However, if the total of these credits is more than your federal tax, you will not get a refund for the difference. You may be able to claim medical expenses paid for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner, your dependent children (if they were born in 1998 or later), and other dependants. For a full list of what is considered an eligible medical expense, go to www.cra.gc.ca/medical.  

Are there conditions for claiming medical expenses?

To claim medical expenses, there are several conditions that have to be met, including:

  • the expenses must be eligible;
  • the expenses must have been paid by you or your spouse or common-law partner; and
  • the expenses must have been paid within a 12-month period ending in 2015 and not claimed for 2014.

Can you claim travel expenses?

Maybe you had to travel at least 40 kilometres (one way) from your home to get medical services. If so, you may be able to claim the public transportation (for example, taxi, bus, and train) expenses you paid. Where public transportation is not readily available, you may be able to claim vehicle expenses instead. Or maybe you had to travel at least 80 kilometres (one way) from your home to get medical services. If so, you may be able to claim accommodation, meal, and parking expenses in addition to your transportation expenses.  

Did someone accompany you? If so, you may be able to claim that person’s transportation and travel expenses. To make that claim, a medical practitioner must certify in writing that you were incapable of travelling alone to get medical services.

Refundable medical expense supplement

If you are a working person with a low income and high medical expenses, you may be able to claim a refundable credit of up to $1,172.

Which expenses are not eligible?

The following are some of the expenses most often claimed as medical expenses in error:

  • athletic or fitness club fees;
  • the cost of blood pressure monitors;
  • the cost of organic food; and
  • the cost of over-the-counter medications and supplements, even if they were prescribed by a medical practitioner.

You should double-check to make sure you are claiming eligible medical expenses before filing your return. If you claim ineligible medical expenses, the Canada Revenue Agency may reassess your income tax and benefit return.

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