Maximizing Tax Benefits: Claims Specialized Medical Care Expenses
If you or a family member required specialized medical care throughout the year, such as palliative care or other health-related expenses, it’s important to understand that you may have additional medical expenses that others do not. Fortunately, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenu Québec provide relief by allowing you to use the cost of eligible medical expenses to reduce the amount of taxes you owe. The more medical expenses you claim, the higher your potential tax return will be. By taking advantage of these provisions, you can maximize your tax benefits and alleviate the financial burden associated with claims specialized medical care.
Uncovering Missed Expenses and New Additions
When it comes to claiming medical expenses, it’s important to be aware of the wide range of potential expenses that you can include. Some commonly missed expenses that you might be eligible to claim include hearing aids, insulin, and diabetic supplies. Depending on your circumstances, lesser-known expenses like medical marijuana (with a prescription) could also be eligible.
To ensure you don’t miss out on any eligible medical expenses, take a look at our blog post highlighting commonly overlooked medical expenses.
If you’re uncertain about what you can claim, the best resource is the searchable table provided on the CRA website. For Québec residents, Revenu Québec offers a downloadable PDF document that outlines eligible medical expenses for claiming on your return.
Q: Are there any new medical expenses that I can claim?
A: Yes! The CRA and Revenu Québec occasionally introduce new expenses that can be claimed on your tax return. This year, some new eligible medical expenses include the following:
- Québec residents can now claim the cost of sessions with a certified psychotherapist, provided the therapist has a permit to practice from the Ordre des psychologues du Québec.
- Acupuncturists are now recognized as an eligible expense for Nova Scotia residents.
- Speech language therapists are also newly eligible for expense claims in Nova Scotia.
By staying informed about commonly missed expenses and being aware of newly added eligible expenses, you can optimize your medical expense claims and potentially receive additional tax benefits.
Claims Medical Marijuana and Specialized Medical Care Expenses
If you’re considering claiming the cost of medical marijuana on your tax return, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Firstly, you’ll need a prescription from an approved medical practitioner, such as your doctor. Additionally, ensure that you have purchased your cannabis from a licensed producer and keep all the receipts as documentation.
It’s important to note that you can only claim the cost of certain cannabis-related expenses, including medical fresh or dried cannabis, cannabis oils, and cannabis seeds or plants. However, you cannot claim expenses related to recreational cannabis or the costs associated with growing cannabis, such as fertilizers. Similarly, accessories like lights, containers, vaporizers, pipes, capsules, or capsule filler machines are not eligible for claiming.
Specialized medical care refers to medical expenses that involve a specific or specialized component. This can include personalized therapy plans or treatments designed for individuals with specific needs or impairments, as well as assistance from professionals with specialized training.
Some examples of specialized medical care include:
- Personal therapy plans: You may be able to claim the cost of personalized therapy plans created by psychologists, physiotherapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, and other approved medical practitioners. To be eligible, certain criteria must be met, such as having a prescription from an approved medical practitioner, being eligible for the disability tax credit (DTC), and having the plan prescribed and designed by a qualified professional.
- Service animals: If you meet specific criteria, such as being blind, profoundly deaf, having a severe physical impairment, being autistic, epileptic, or affected by severe diabetes, you can claim the cost of purchasing and caring for a specially trained service animal. This includes expenses like food, veterinarian care, and reasonable travel expenses for attending a school or institution that provides training for handling the service animal. Emotional support animals, however, are not considered eligible medical expenses.
- Rehabilitation centers: Expenses related to rehabilitation centers that treat addictions to drugs, alcohol, or gambling can also be claimed as specialized medical care. This includes the total amount paid for the stay at the rehabilitation center and any training received there.
Regarding palliative care, it is specialized medical care designed for individuals living with severe illnesses, providing pain relief and support to maintain comfort and dignity. Palliative care can be provided in hospitals, homes, long-term care facilities, or hospice. Coverage and costs associated with palliative care vary depending on the province and the facility providing the care.
It’s important to consult the guidelines and regulations of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenu Québec to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria and have the necessary documentation when claiming medical marijuana or specialized medical care expenses on your tax return.
Claiming Medical Expenses: What You Need to Know
To successfully claim your medical expenses, it’s essential to keep your supporting documents organized and accessible for at least 6 years, in case the CRA or Revenu Québec requires them for verification. It’s important to note that different types of medical expenses may require different documents. For instance, some expenses may need a prescription, while others may require a written certificate or a signed T2201 form (for the disability tax credit). If you’re filing a paper return, remember to attach your receipts.
Here are the key supporting documents you’ll need:
- Receipts: Ensure that your receipts display your name or the name of the person for whom you paid the expense (e.g., your partner, children, or dependents).
- Prescriptions: For certain medical expenses like lab procedures, specific medical supplies, and medicines, you’ll need a prescription from an approved medical practitioner, such as a doctor, nurse, dentist, or optometrist. The list of approved medical practitioners who can provide prescriptions may vary by province, so check the CRA website for a comprehensive list.
- Certificate from a medical practitioner: Some medical expenses, such as tutoring services, talking textbooks, and note-taking services, may require a certificate from an approved medical practitioner. This certificate confirms the necessity of the expense and may need to be obtained in writing.
Surrogacy and Donor Expenses:
Starting from 2022, the list of eligible medical expenses has expanded to include expenses related to surrogacy, sperm or ova donors. This includes payments made to fertility clinics for in vitro fertilization procedures for surrogate mothers, hormone medication for ova donors, reimbursements of expenses paid by surrogate mothers or donors, and fees paid to fertility clinics and donor banks to obtain donor sperm or ova. It’s important to note that only expenses incurred within Canada are eligible for claiming.
By ensuring you have the necessary supporting documents and meeting the specific requirements for each type of medical expense, you can confidently claim your medical expenses and maximize your eligible deductions.