What is medical expense tax credit?

There are two types of medical expense tax credit: refundable tax credit and non-refundable tax credit. This article is about non-refundable tax credit.

You can claim tax credit for eligible medical expenses paid for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner, or your children under 18 years old. For 2014, the amount that can be claimed is the expenses in excess of the lesser of $2,171 and 3% of your net income. The amount is claimed on line 330.

You can also claim medical expenses for other dependants on line 331.

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Eligible medical expenses

Generally, eligible medical expenses include payments to a medical doctor, dentist, and other medical professionals or to licensed private hospital; payments for prescription drugs, eyeglasses, medical device, artificial limbs, wheelchairs, crutches, hearing aids, dentures, and pacemakers; and insurance premiums paid to private health services plan or under a provincial or territorial prescription drug plan.

The part of eligible medical expenses for which you was or will be reimbursed is not eligible unless it is included in your income.

A list of expenses not eligible for medical expense tax credit

Period covered

You can claim eligible medical expenses paid in any 12-month period ending in the year you file your return for.

For deceased person or dependant, the period is extended to 24 months.

Supporting documents

You must have receipts to support expenses claimed. Receipts must show the name of the company or individual to whom the expense was paid. Receipts for attendant care or therapy paid to an individual should also show the individual's social insurance number.

If you are filing electronically, keep all your documents in case the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) asks to see them at a later date. If you are filing a paper return, receipts needs to be attached.

Which spouse claim medical expense tax credit?

Either spouse can claim the medical expenses of both. The amount can also be shared by both spouses.

Tax tip:

To maximize the credit, generally, the lower income spouse should claim all expenses if he or she has sufficient income to use the credit.

Working individuals with low incomes and high medical expenses may be qualified for a refundable medical expenses tax credit.

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Additional information