#TaxPlanning101: Are You Aware of These Eligible Medical Expenses?


Getting ready to tackle your taxes? Here are some tips to ease the pain. Did you know you can claim medical expenses paid for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner and certain related persons. The items below give you an overview of what you are eligible to claim. We would be happy to discuss if you have any questions. We provide complete Accounting, Taxation and Advisory services for small to medium sized business’ and individuals. We work with you now to meet your current and long-term financial objectives and minimize your taxes. Email us at [email protected] or call us at 905-875-4444 (Melanie).

Content below courtesy of TaxTips.ca

Here is an overview on medical expenses covered:

  • amounts paid to medical practitioners, dentists, nurses, and certain other medical professionals.  Note that for the cost of the service by a medical practitioner to qualify as an allowable medical expense, the person providing the service must be recognized as a “medical practitioner” according to the laws of the jurisdiction in which the service is provided.  For instance, a registered massage therapist (in BC, registered with the College of Massage Therapists of BC) is recognized as a medical practitioner in BC, Ontario, and some other provinces, but not in all provinces.

  • amounts paid to public or licensed private hospital

  • payments made to organizations for medical services rendered by their employees or partners. Examples are physiotherapy or homemaker services rendered in the taxpayer’s home.

  • eyeglass frames and lenses and contact lenses prescribed by a medical practitioner

  • premiums paid to a private health services plan, such as travel medical insurance (must be insurance which will cover only eligible medical expenses – see CRA technical interpretation 2007-0229901E5.pdf), extended health benefits or a dental plan, other than those fees paid by an employer. Fees paid for a provincial or territorial health care plan (medical or hospitalization) do not qualify, but premiums for Nova Scotia Pharmacare may qualify – see CRA technical interpretation 2006-0205931E5.pdf.  If a person is self employed, the premiums paid for a private health services plan can be deducted from self employment income, instead of being claimed as a medical expense.  This would result in greater (or at least equal) tax savings, and is a way to provide a tax-free benefit to employees of a small business.  See our article on private health services plans.

  • premiums paid for medical coverage during trips out of the country

  • premiums paid under a provincial or territorial prescription drug plan, such as the Québec Prescription Drug Insurance Plan and the Nova Scotia Seniors’ Pharmacare Program

  • transportation service costs, where the taxpayer has to travel at least 40 km to the location where the required medical services are provided, as long as substantially equivalent medical services are not available in the taxpayers locality.  If the taxpayer has been certified by a medical practitioner to be incapable of travelling without the assistance of an attendant, then the transportation service costs of the attendant may also be claimed.    If the taxpayer has to travel at least 80 km (one way) for the medical services, then reasonable travel expenses (meals, lodging, vehicle expenses including parking) may also be claimed.  The travel costs can be calculated by keeping all receipts, or by using the CRA meal expense allowance and vehicle cost per kilometre amounts.  See the CRA web page on travel expenses for medical expense, which links to information on meal and vehicle rates used to calculate travel expenses for medical travel for each province.