6 surprising medical expenses you can claim on your tax return

December 15, 2014

Discover the wide range of medical expenses that can save you money on your next tax return.

6 surprising medical expenses you can claim on your tax return

Most people are aware that they can claim medical expenses on their tax return, but don’t really know the extent of the expenses they can claim.

The Medical Expense Tax Credit

The Medical Expense Tax Credit applies to a wide number of medical expenses including prescription drugs, eyeglasses, health-related home renovations, dental work and even gluten-free bread.

  • Replace your furnace recently due to a chronic respiratory condition? It could qualify as a medical expense.

A non-refundable tax credit

The Medical Expense Tax Credit is a non-refundable tax credit, which can be used to reduce the amount of taxes you have to pay come tax season. But it will not generate a refund. So if you don’t usually owe any taxes, this tax credit can’t help you put more money in your pocket.

How it works

The government automatically deducts the lesser of either $2,109 (this amount fluctuates yearly) or three per cent of your net income from your total medical expenses.

  • If you keep all your medical expense receipts, anything over the amount automatically deducted will be taken off your taxes owed.

Your prescriptions

A good idea is to contact your local pharmacy or drug store and see if they can provide you with a single receipt for all your prescriptions for the year so you don’t have to keep individual receipts.

Other medical expenses

The Canadian Revenue Agency has dealt with almost every possible medical expense so they have built up an exhaustive list of medical products and procedures you can claim, including those that have occurred outside Canada.

Surprising medical expenses you can claim:

  1. Air conditioner: If you have a chronic ailment, and your doctor has prescribed you an air conditioner, you can claim 50 per cent of the amount of an air conditioner up to $1,000.
  2. Eyes: You can claim the cost of eyeglasses, contact lenses or other vision devices for the treatment of vision correction and artificial eyes if you have a prescription.
  3. Gluten-free bread: If you are celiac adult and have been prescribed a gluten-free diet by a medical practitioner, you can claim the difference in cost between gluten-free and non-gluten-free products.
  4. In-vitro fertility program: The cost of fertility treatment by a medical practitioner or a hospital (not including donations to a sperm bank) is eligible as a medical expense.
  5. Tutoring: The cost of tutoring services that are supplemental to a primary education is eligible as a medical expense if the student has a learning disability or a mental impairment, and a medical practitioner has requested the tutoring.
  6. Wigs: If you have suffered abnormal hair loss due to a disease, accident, or medical treatment and have a prescription for a wig, you can submit the cost as a medical expense.

Medical expenses that don’t qualify

  • Athletic or fitness club fees.
  • Non-prescription birth control devices.
  • Blood pressure monitors.
  • Cosmetic surgery such as liposuction, teeth whitening and hair replacement procedures.

Do your research

With a little bit of research and planning, you can easily plan your way to a larger Medical Expense Tax Credit and reduce the amount of tax you pay at the end of the year.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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