This page provides information to Canadians about health insurance tax credits.
Most Canadian residents know that under the country’s health insurance taxation guidelines, certain medicines, treatments and hospital services can be claimed as a personal medical expense on their annual tax return forms, the familiar ones being prescription drugs, vision care and dental work. However, what many are unaware of is that, above and beyond these common categories, a wide range of extended medical care costs, which are often considered “outside the box”, qualify for tax credits. Here are some medical-related expenses that your provincial health insurance plan may not cover, but can be claimed as a tax deduction.
- Hearing aids and laryngeal voice boxes or other assistive communication gadgets, including specially-designed telephones for the hearing-impaired.
- Personal aid devices and equipment such as prosthetic limbs, artificial eyes, support braces for the limbs or spine, wheelchairs, electric scooters, crutches, artificial kidney apparatus, colostomy pads, radiation therapy equipment and oxygen concentration machines used for sleep apnea and other breathing disorders, as well as routine maintenance, consisting of repair and/or restoration work, plus battery replacement, for these electronic devices.
- Incontinence products such as disposable diapers or undergarments, as well as catheter tubes, trays, and other essentials supplied to a victim of a severe accident, affliction or disease that has consequently cause incontinence.
- Cosmetic procedures, as a rule, are only tax deductible if acquired by the patient prior to March 5th, 2010, and if payment was made to a certified physician, or licensed hospital facility. Further related medical expenses can maintain their qualification if deemed medically necessary, such as reconstructive surgery for traumatic injuries and disease-causing disfigurement, as well as procedures to fix congenital deformities or abnormalities.
- Wigs and hairpieces for individuals who have experienced an unnatural loss of hair because of an illness, accident, chemotherapy or other treatment methods affecting the follicle.
- Animal assistance for the visually-impaired, deaf, or those enduring a lengthy ailment which substantially limits the function of their arms or legs. Such cases generally involve the expense of a professionally-trained guide animal, employed to assist the disabled person with everyday tasks. Additional costs could consist of pet food supplies, veterinary bills, as well as travel/lodging expenses for the impaired individual to attend training sessions with the prospective guide animal at a designated facility.
- Specialized care training or instructions for a person who is to become the primary caregiver of a mentally or physically impaired relative in a shared household.
- Air conditioning units in situations whereby a person afflicted with a particular recurring illness or disorder requires such a device to help stabilize the symptoms of their condition (a calculated percentage of the cost of an A/C unit is eligible for reimbursement).
- Construction/renovation costs incurred by home building contractors for making modifications to a long-term physically-disabled person’s living environment in order to provide them with better accessibility and functionality within their home.
- In-vitro fertility treatments (sperm bank donations are excluded).
- Pre-natal and post-natal care provided by a nurse.
Other medical fields that fall under the category of tax credits, and which Canadian residents may not be aware of, include chiropractic treatment, physiotherapy, podiatry, psychological healing, acupuncture, and nutritional or diet consultation.
Becoming familiar with the fine points with regard to health insurance and eligible tax credits can mean an additional benefit when filing a tax return. For a full list of deductible medical expenses and more in-depth information, visit the following web page: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/rtrn/cmpltng/ddctns/lns300-350/330/llwbl-eng.html.