Claiming medical expenses can itself be painful: There are so many receipts and tiny numbers involved with making the claim!
Nonetheless it’s definitely worthwhile for taxpayers and their advisors to be aware of how they can save money in this area. Medical expenses themselves are common, yet most of us don’t know exactly what’s deductible, so there are lots of misses when claiming these common costs. Get ready for some “aha moments” as we look closely at claiming medical expenses.
Most people know, for example, that they can claim medical expenses for their nuclear family: mom, dad and their minor children; but you can also claim for others who are dependent on you: children over 18, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, even uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces if they are resident in Canada.
There are also a host of interesting costs that are deductible, provided they are unreimbursed by a medical plan. So, for example, if you are on a medical plan at work, and it covers 80% of all these costs, you can claim the 20% that is not covered by the plan.
Furthermore, the premiums for private medical plans are claimable too, including those provided by an employer. Check pay stubs and Box 40 of the T4 slip for the premiums in this case.
Generally, the costs of visiting the following medical practitioners are eligible:
• dentist or dental hygienist • medical doctor or practitioner
• optometrist • pharmacist
• psychologist or psychoanalyst • chiropractor
• naturopath • therapeutist or therapist
• physiotherapist • chiropodist (or podiatrist)
• acupuncturist • dietician
• nurse, including a practical nurse whose full-time occupation is nursing • audiologist
Eligible medical treatments include:
• medical and dental services, eyeglasses, hearing aids and their batteries • attendant or nursing home care
• ambulance fees • guide dogs or dogs to manage severe diabetes, including care and travel for training
• prescribed alterations to the home to accommodate disabled persons • cost of training a person to provide care for an infirm dependant
• lip reading or sign language training • tutoring services for a patient with a learning disability or mental impairment
• drugs and lab tests prescribed by a medical practitioner and recorded by a pharmacist • private health plan premiums, including group insurance premiums, Blue Cross premiums, and travel insurance costs
Next time we take a look at some eyebrow-raising write-offs that might make a knowledgeable tax expert the most interesting person around the water fountain