We examine what medical expenses qualify for tax relief and how an individual can claim the different types of medical expenses.
An individual can claim tax relief for medical expenses they incur and for costs incurred on behalf of any other individual (providing that they pay for these expenses).
Qualifying Medical Expenses
Relief can be claimed on the following expenses:
- Doctors and consultant’s fees,
- Diagnostic procedures recommended by a practitioner,
- Drugs and medicines prescribed by a doctor,
- Orthoptic or similar treatment,
- Physiotherapy or similar treatment,
- Podiatry or chiropody costs,
- In-vitro fertilisation costs,
- Nursing home expenses,
- Cost of purchasing, maintaining and repairing medical, surgical, dental or nursing appliances (including hearing aids), and
- Non-routine dental care – A MED2 form must be completed by your dentist to determine the quantum of tax relief available.
Healthcare received outside Ireland is eligible once the practitioner providing the healthcare is registered under that country’s laws.
Other Qualifying Medical Expenses
Tax relief is currently available for amounts up to €124 per calendar month for prescribed medication. Expenditure more than €124 per month is recoverable from the HSE under the Drugs Payment Scheme.
Over the last few years, the monthly allowable amount has reduced from €144 to the current rate of €124. In budget 2020 it was announced that this monthly amount would be reduced to €114 with effect from September 2020.
The monthly limit applies to an individual, his or her spouse/partner, and any children aged under 18 (or under 23 if in full-time education).
Diet expenses for coeliacs and diabetics
For individuals with specific dietary requirements due to a medical condition, tax relief is available for the cost of certain food products.
The relief applies if you are:
- a coeliac and you must purchase gluten-free foods specifically manufactured to be gluten-free
- diabetic and you must buy diabetic products if your doctor recommends that you include these in your diet.
To qualify for relief, you must also provide a letter from your doctor stating that you are coeliac or diabetic and that you have special dietary needs.
The purchase of such foods from supermarkets is allowable provided that the food products are specifically manufactured for coeliac or diabetic patients.
Educational Psychologist Assessments
Tax relief is available for such expenses providing that an assessment was carried out by a qualified educational psychologist for a qualifying child.
A qualifying child is someone under 18 years of age or a child that is in full-time education (i.e. attending university, college, school or another educational establishment).
Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and language therapy costs incurred for a qualifying child (see definition above) also qualify for relief. To be eligible for relief, a qualified speech and language therapist must carry out the therapy.
The following health expenses are specifically excluded for relief purposes:
- Routine dental care
- Routine ophthalmic (eye) care
- Cosmetic surgery/procedure (unless surgery necessary to correct a health issue)
- Guide and assistance dog costs (other allowances available).
Certain medical or dental expenses may be reimbursed by a medical insurance provider. In such cases, no relief is available for the element reimbursed by the medical insurance provider.
However, tax relief is available for any element that is not reimbursed by the medical insurance provider.
For example, if Adam incurred qualifying medical expenses of €500 during the year of which €200 was reimbursed by his medical insurance provider, tax relief can be claimed on the unreimbursed amount of €300. Adam will be entitled to claim a medical expenses credit of €60 (i.e. €300 x 20%).
How to Claim Tax Relief
- Tax relief for health expenses is available after the year-end. In exceptional cases, relief may be granted during the tax year.
- Claims must now be made online using Revenue’s MyAccount facility or when submitting your annual income tax return.
You can claim tax relief on qualifying medical expenses incurred in the last four years.
Health expense receipts and supporting documentation must be kept for a period of six years. It is essential to keep these records on file should they be requested by Revenue.
Revenue’s MyAccount service now includes a receipts tracker service which gives taxpayers the option to store their receipt details online.
If you have any questions in relation to the above, or would like for us to make a medical expense claim on your behalf, please contact a member of the Mazars private client team below: