“Experimental procedures that are not available locally can be eligible.”
People who travel outside of Canada for medical treatment may be eligible to claim the cost of the treatment, as well as travel and transportation to the medical practitioner or medical facility, as a medical expense for tax credit purposes. Experimental procedures that are not available locally can be eligible.
To qualify for the medical expense tax credit, the medical services must be performed by a medical practitioner licensed in the jurisdiction where the services are provided and the services must be provided in a medical facility licensed in that jurisdiction. If there is uncertainty as to whether the medical practitioner or medical facility qualifies, information such as the details of the professional qualifications of the medical staff and facility should be obtained.
Travel and Transportation Expenses
Travel costs (plane fare, hotel, etc…) can be claimed as a medical expense if the patient has to travel more than 80 kilometres because substantially equivalent medical services are not available locally.
The patient must also take a reasonably direct route and it must be considered reasonable for the person receiving treatment to travel to the particular place for the services. A supporting letter from a medical practitioner licensed in Canada would be helpful in supporting the claim, although it is not required.
Expenses for someone to accompany a patient can also qualify if a medical practitioner licensed in the province or jurisdiction where the patient lives certifies, in writing, that the patient is unable to travel without assistance.
Generally speaking, transportation costs, such as the cost of taxis, in the foreign locale are eligible for the medical expense tax credit as long as the transportation is for the person receiving the treatment and, where required as certified by a medical practitioner licensed in the province or jurisdiction where the patient lives, the companion. The person providing the service must be in the transportation business.
Remember that medical expenses can only be claimed to the extent they are not reimbursed by a public or private insurance plan.
TAX TIP OF THE WEEK is provided as a free service to clients and friends of the Tax Specialist Group member firms. The Tax Specialist Group is a national affiliation of firms who specialize in providing tax consulting services to other professionals, businesses and high net worth individuals on Canadian and international tax matters and tax disputes.
The material provided in Tax Tip of the Week is believed to be accurate and reliable as of the date it is written. Tax laws are complex and are subject to frequent change. Professional advice should always be sought before implementing any tax planning arrangements. Neither the Tax Specialist Group nor any member firm can accept any liability for the tax consequences that may result from acting based on the contents hereof.