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What Medical Expenses Can I Deduct & How Do I Claim Them?

From having a prescription filled through needing to be taken by ambulance to a hospital, everyone has medical expenses. Fortunately, a lot of different medical expenses can be claimed on your income tax as a tax deduction – and even more fortunately, the medical expenses of other members of your family can be claimed, too.

You may not want to claim medical expenses on your income tax return, though. Because of the way medical expenses claims are calculated, you’ll get the biggest bang for your tax buck if the spouse with the lowest income claims all the medical expenses on his or her return.

Let’s have a look at the details.

Whose Medical Expenses You Can Claim

If you are single and have no dependents, only yours.

If, however, you have a family, you can claim the medical expenses you paid for your spouse or common-law partner and those of any dependent children .

If you are claiming medical expenses as or for a person with a disability, you will want to be sure the Canada Revenue Agency has a valid T2201 Form Disability Tax Credit Certificate before you submit your return.

How Much of Your Medical Expenses You Can Claim

The answer to this depends on your net income. For the federal medical expenses tax credit on Line 330 of your income tax return, you will enter the total amount of your claimable medical expenses and then subtract the lesser of 3% of your net income (line 236) or $2,109 (in 2012)  – the result being how much of your medical expenses you can actually claim.

(You will also claim the appropriate provincial or territorial non-refundable tax credit on line 5868 of your provincial or territorial Form 428.)

If you also have incurred medical expenses for dependent relatives who are 18 or older, you will need to claim these separately on Line 331 of your income tax return. These are calculated exactly the same way as your medical expenses on Line 330 except that you need to do a separate calculation for each dependent.

Your Medical Expenses Year Doesn’t Have to

Match the Calendar Year

One helpful thing about claiming medical expenses that some people don’t realize is that while you do claim twelve months of medical expenses at a time on your income tax return, those twelve months don’t have to run from January through December. In fact, you can claim eligible medical expenses paid in any 12-month period ending in 2012 and not claimed for 2011 – which is handy if you had some large medical expense that you wouldn’t be able to claim if you were limited to following the calendar year.

What Medical Expenses Can You Claim?

If you read the entire list of allowable medical expenses that the Canada Revenue Agency provides, you’ll probably be surprised at what all is allowed to be claimed.

Here are just five that may have never crossed your mind:

  • Air conditioner – $1,000 or 50% of the amount paid for the air conditioner, whichever is less, for a person with a severe chronic ailment, disease, or disorder – prescription required.
  • Certificates – the amount paid to a medical practitioner for completing and providing additional information in regard to Form T2201 and other certificates.
  • Orthopaedic shoes, boots, and inserts – prescription required.
  • Premiums paid to private health services plans including medical, dental, and hospitalization plans.
  • Talking textbooks in connection with enrolment at a secondary school in Canada or a designated educational institution for a person who has a perceptual disability. A medical practitioner must certify in writing that the expense is necessary.

Claim Your Medical Expenses the Easy Way With TurboTax

Reading through all the material linked above and the Canada Revenue Agency’s RC4064 –  Medical and Disability – Related Information is one way to learn how to claim your medical expenses. Another is just to use TurboTax .

TurboTax simplifies the process of claiming your medical expenses by providing answers to common medical expense questions before and during the process of entering your medical receipts. It’s your expert guide to making the most of your medical expenses claim. Learn more here .

Caroline at TurboTax (211 Posts)

Category: Taxes

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