You undoubtedly already know that medical expenses can be claimed as a medical expense credit on your tax return – but, like many Canadians, you may be somewhat fuzzy about exactly what and how much can be claimed and how to go about making your claim. So here’s a primer to help ensure you get the most from your medical expense credit.
You can claim … eligible medical expenses incurred by yourself, your spouse or common-law partner as well you or your spouse/common-law partner’s children who are under 18 at the end of the year. You may also be able to claim eligible medical expenses incurred for a family member dependent on you for support (other dependents).
Eligible medical expenses include … fees paid for prescription medicines, fees paid to medical professionals or a public licensed private hospital for medical or dental services, costs incurred for attendant care or certain types of facilities including nursing homes, and certain other expenses. Be aware that who is considered a medical professional varies by province – so check the Canada Revenue website (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/medical/).
Ineligible expenses include … athletic or fitness club fees, non-prescription drugs, vitamins, personal response system charges, health plan premiums not included in income, and medical expenses for which you were reimbursed.
The amount of your claim will be … eligible medical expenses minus the lesser of 3% of your net income for the year or a fixed amount that is indexed annually ($2,208 for 2015). Eligible medical expenses incurred for other dependents are calculated based on that dependent’s net income.
Get the most from your credit … by combining eligible medical expenses on the return of the lower-income spouse or by choosing any 12-month period ending in the current taxation year for previously unclaimed expenses.
Be sure to keep all your medical and dental receipts including those for prescriptions, travel expenses (for a patient who must travel at least 80 kilometres from home for treatment) meals, accommodations and parking expenses.
Be sure to get the most from your medical expense tax credit and all your other eligible tax credits and deductions by talking to your professional advisor about the best tax-planning, tax-saving strategies for you.
This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (in Québec – a Financial Services Firm), and Investors Group Securities Inc. (in Québec, a firm in Financial Planning) presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. Contact your own advisor for specific advice about your circumstances. For more information on this topic please contact your Investors Group Consultant.