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
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
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
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.