Claim Your Medical Expenses & Lower Your Income Tax

by Pam on March 21, 2010

A lot of people don’t realize that they can claim many of their medical expenses incurred throughout the year.  Any time you fill a prescription, be sure to keep the receipt tucked away for income tax purposes in order to benefit from the tax credit.

Are all medical expenses eligible?

No, not all medical expenses are eligible.  Examples of ineligible expenses include gym fees, blood pressure monitors, and organic food.  For a more complete list, check out this Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) link.

What types of medical expenses can I claim?

The most common expenses are prescription medications, however, there is an exhaustive list of allowable medical expenses including everything from air conditioners to wigs on the CRA website.  As long as they are arguably a necessity and (in most cases) as long as they are prescribed by a doctor they are acceptable.

You can claim medical expenses paid in any 12-month period ending in 2009 that you haven’t already claimed in 2008.  Generally you can claim all amounts even if they were not paid in Canada.  However, you cannot claim any medical expenses that were covered by a benefit plan.  If your benefits covered half of an expense, than you can still claim the other half in order to receive a tax credit.  Be sure to keep track of what your benefits covered so that at tax time you will be fully prepared.

As Canadians, we pay a lot of tax.  It’s important to know the tax rules in order to minimize the amount of taxes that we pay.  Make it a habit to keep track of your medical expenses throughout the year and educate yourself about other tax credits that are available.

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