Last updated: Nov-12-2018

    
 
Medical expenses a prescription for tax savings
11/13/2018 5:59:56 PM
HOME : FEATURES : COLUMNS : Medical expenses a prescription for tax savings
Show Printable Version Download Plain Text
 
Financial Education
Tax and investment know-how from a leading Canadian financial education institute.



By Knowledge Bureau  | Tuesday, October 16, 2018


 

TAX PLANNING FROM THE KNOWLEDGE BUREAU



By Evelyn Jacks

Claiming medical expenses can be painful for most taxpayers – there are so many receipts and tiny numbers involved. But it can be worthwhile, especially if you schedule your dental and medical treatments in a tax-savvy manner before year-end.

Most people know, for example, that they can claim medical expenses for their nuclear family: mom, dad, and their minor children. But did you know you can also claim for others who are dependent on you if they are resident in Canada? That includes children over 18, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, even uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces.

There are also a host of interesting costs that are deductible, provided they are unreimbursed by a medical plan. So, for example, if you are on a medical plan at work that covers 80% of all these costs, you can claim the 20% that is not covered by the plan. Furthermore, the premiums for the private medical plan are claimable too, including those provided by an employer. Check pay stubs and Box 40 of the T4 slip for the premiums in this case.

Often forgotten claims are the unusual ones

* Medical marijuana or marijuana seeds, but they must be purchased from Health Canada, or a licensed person under the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR). Costs of growing not deductible. Keep in mind, guidelines may change following legalization on October 17.

* For people who have celiac disease, the incremental cost of acquiring gluten-free food products can be claimed, but you’ll need to compare the cost of gluten-free with non-gluten-free food products. That person must also have a written certificate from a medical practitioner that a gluten-free diet is required. Deductible costs include the incremental cost of gluten-free bread, bagels, muffins, and cereals, rice flour, and GF spices. Only the costs related to the person with celiac disease are to be used in calculating the medical expense tax credit…so if others consume the same food with the patient, a proration is necessary.

Generally, the costs of visiting the following medical practitioners are eligible: dentist or dental hygienist; medical doctor; optometrist; psychologist or psychoanalyst; chiropractor; naturopath; acupuncturist; or dietician, to name a few.

Eligible medical treatments

These include medical and dental services, eyeglasses, hearing aids and their batteries, attendant or nursing home care, ambulance fees, service dogs, guide dogs or dogs to manage severe diabetes or psychological conditions, including care and travel for training, prescribed alterations to the home to accommodate disabled persons, cost of training a person to provide care for an infirm dependant, and even tutoring services for a patient with a learning disability or mental impairment.

Remember, the claim for medical expenses is reduced by 3% of the claimant’s net income (or the dependant’s net income if claiming expenses for other dependants), to a maximum of $2,302 in 2018.

This maximum is reached when net income is over $76,733. Generally, that means the spouse with the lower income will get the biggest claim, but it is worth nothing if that spouse is not taxable. In those cases, carry the receipts forward for a possible future claim, as medical expenses can be claimed in the best 12-month period ending in the tax year.

That’s where year-end tax planning really comes into play. By grouping expenses left unclaimed from last year, timing your expenses for this year may provide for a bigger claim in your best 12-month period. This could be from November 1, 2017, to October 31, 2018, for example. A DFA – Tax Services Specialist can help you through the process, provided that as a taxpayer, you’ve done your due diligence in keeping the appropriate receipts and documentation.

© 2018 The Knowledge Bureau, Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

Evelyn Jacks is the founder and President of Knowledge Bureau, which brings continuing financial education in the multiple areas of specialization to advisors and their clients. She is the author of 52 books on tax and wealth planning. This article originally appeared in the Knowledge Bureau Report. Follow Evelyn Jacks on Twitter @EvelynJacks. Visit her blog at www.evelynjacks.com.

Notes and Disclaimer

The foregoing is for general information purposes only and is the opinion of the writer. No guarantee of investment performance is made or implied. It is not intended to provide specific personalized advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax advice.

 
:: STOCK SEARCH
Find a Stock

(Leave blank for all)
Symbol   Name
:: MEMBER SERVICES
Username:
Password:
Forgot your password?
Register now
Tech Support
:: USEFUL LINKS
For general inquiries, please email the Librarian.
 
Home |  Features |  Member Services |  Tools |  Funds |  About Us
For any questions or problems with this site, please contact the Librarian.
Page ID: 20:40:1091:00016778:9/12/2017:3:10:55 PM Duration of this visit: 0 sec.