Medical expenses

What’s in this article?


What is this?

You can claim medical expenses if you have significant medical expenses for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner, or dependants. The medical expenses tax credit is non-refundable and can be used to reduce your tax liability.

Some common eligible medical expenses are:

  • Medical services provided by qualified medical practitioners;
  • Dentist and dental services;
  • Prescription drugs and medications​;
  • Ambulance service to or from a hospital;
  • Prescription eyeglasses and prescription contact lenses;
  • Hearing aids and special telephone devices to help people who are hearing-impaired;
  • Laboratory tests and x-rays;
  • Diabetic testing supplies;
  • Premiums for private health care plans;
  • Travel expenses;
  • Amounts paid as salary for designing personalized therapy plans for people eligible to claim the disability tax credit.

Note: This list is not exhaustive. Click this link for a complete list of eligible medical expenses and any supporting documents you will need to claim the medical expense.

The amount you can claim for this tax credit is the lesser of the following two amounts:

  • Your eligible medical expenses minus $2, 208; OR
  • Your eligible medical expenses minus 3% of your net income for the year.

Example: If you have $5,000 of eligible medical expenses and have a net income of $40,000, your medical expenses credit will be calculated as follows:

$40,000 X 3% = $1,200

Since $1,200 is less than the fixed amount of $2,208, it is deducted from your total medical expenses.

$5,000 - $1,200 = $3,800      ←   Your medical expenses credit.

If you are a Québec resident and you had a spouse or common-law partner on December 31, you must add your partner’s total net income to yours to determine the amount claimable.

Note: H&R Block’s tax software automatically calculates your tax credit based on the calculation method above.


Am I eligible?

 You can claim eligible medical expenses paid by you for:

  • Yourself;
  • Your spouse or common-law partner; or
  • Your dependants such as your or your spouse’s or partner’s child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, or nephew. 
    Click this link for more information on claiming your other dependant’s medical expenses.

Medical expenses can be claimed by either you or your spouse or common-law partner.  

Tax tip: We recommend that you compare the amount of medical expenses you can claim with that of your spouse or common-law partner’s. It may be more beneficial for the medical expenses to be claimed on your spouse's or common-law partner's return, if he/she has a lower net income.

Note: Individuals with low income and high medical expenses may qualify for a separate refundable medical expenses supplement. Click this link for more information on the refundable medical tax expense supplement. If you are a resident of Québecclick this link for more information.

You can only claim the part of an expense for which you have not been or will not be reimbursed.  In addition, the medical expenses amount must not have been used in calculating a disability supports deduction or a refundable medical expense supplement.

Note: Some of your eligible medical expenses may qualify for the disability supports deduction. Only individuals with impairments in physical or mental functions can claim the disability support deduction and you will need form T2201: Disability Tax Credit Certificate to qualify for this deduction. Click this link for more information on the Disability Supports Deduction.

Eligible medical expenses paid in any 12-month period ending in the tax year that weren't already claimed in the previous tax year can be claimed. For example, you can claim medical expenses for the 2015 tax year that occurred:

  • Between Feb 1, 2014 - Jan 31, 2015
  • Between June 1, 2014 - May 31, 2015

If you have eligible medical expenses for an individual who died in the year, the medical expenses must be paid within any 24-month period that includes the date of death.


Where do I claim this?

Follow these steps in H&R Block’s tax software to claim eligible medical expenses for yourself or your spouse or common-law partner. Click this link for information on claiming eligible medical expenses for your dependants:

  1. Click the PREPARE tab.
  2. Click the OTHER icon. You will find yourself here:
  3. Under the MEDICAL & DISABILITY RELATED CARE section, select the checkbox labelled Medical expenses.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Continue.

When you arrive at the page for medical expenses, enter your information into the tax software.


Still not sure? Ask an expert!

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 Where can I learn more?