|Important: Do not enter any medical expense amounts that you’ve already entered in box 85 of your T4 page or box 135 of your T4A page. H&R Block’s tax software will automatically claim these amounts for you on your return. You only need to enter, on this page, the medical expenses that you haven’t entered anywhere else on your return.|
You can claim medical expenses for:
- Your spouse or common-law partner
- Your or your partner's child under the age of 17 or
- Your dependants (such as your or your partner’s child or grandchild aged 17 or over, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, or nephew)
You can claim all or a portion of the medical expenses for which you’ve not been or will not be reimbursed. For example, let's say your health insurance plan reimbursed you for 80% of your medical expenses, you can only claim the remaining 20% on your return.
Claims for medical expenses can be made for any 12-month period ending in the tax year for which you’re filing a return. For example, for the 2017 tax year, you could claim expenses paid in 2016 and in 2017.
Note: The medical expenses you’re claiming can’t be used to calculate any other credit, including the disability supports deduction. And remember, if you’re eligible to claim the federal medical expenses amount, you’re also entitled to claim a corresponding provincial tax credit, which might vary in amount depending on the province or territory you live in:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Who should claim the expenses?
If you are filing a return with your spouse or common law partner, you cannot split medical expense amounts. You can, however, choose who you’d like to claim the entire amount(s). Tax tip: it is usually more beneficial for the person with the lower income to claim the amount.
To choose who will claim the medical expenses on the WRAP-UP tab, under the OPTIMIZATION icon:
When you see the table for Here are the additional Credits Claimed for You, answer Yes to the question: Do you want to change who's claiming the credits listed in the table above? (you can also choose not to claim a credit) and then indicate who you’d like to claim the medical expenses.
Which medical expenses are eligible for the credit?
Some common eligible medical expenses include:
- 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
- Laboratory tests and x-rays
- Diabetic testing supplies
- Premiums for private health care plans, including those you paid through payroll deductions (premiums for mandatory provincial health plans, such as the British Columbia medical services plan, are not claimable)
- Travel expenses
- Cost to adapt a van to transport a person who needs a wheelchair
Click this link for a complete list of eligible medical expenses.
Note: For tax years 2017 and onwards, the federal budget has announced that expenses paid in order to conceive a child will be eligible for the medical expenses tax credit, even if the individual does not have a medical condition preventing him or her from conceiving a child. These expenses can include the cost of medical services, lab tests, and prescription drugs. If you paid for these expenses in a prior year (up to 10 years back), you can request the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to adjust your return for that year. Refer to the CRA website for more information.
Where do I claim this?
Follow these steps in H&R Block’s 2017 tax software to claim eligible medical expenses for yourself or your spouse or common-law partner.
- Under the PREPARE tab, click the MOST POPULAR icon. You’ll find yourself here:
- Under the CREDITS heading, select the checkbox labelled Medical expenses and click Continue.
- When you arrive at the Medical expenses page, enter your information into the tax software.
Can I claim the amount I paid to move to a more accessible home?
Yes. According to the CRA, if you or a family member suffer from a prolonged mobility impairment and moved to a house that’s more accessible or functional, you can claim reasonable moving expenses (up to $2,000). Having said that, these amounts can only be claimed as a medical expense as long as they haven’t been claimed as moving expenses on your, or someone else’s return.
I’m a resident of Québec, can I claim my RAMQ contributions?
Yes. If you were required to pay premiums for Québec's public prescription drug insurance plan (RAMQ) in 2016, you can claim these contributions as a medical expense on your 2017 federal return. To do this, enter the amount from line 447 of your 2016 Québec return in the field shown below on the Medical expenses page:
I entered my medical expenses in the software but don’t see a difference in my return
You'll only see a difference in your refund or tax owing amount if you have a significant amount of medical expenses. Your medical expenses must be more than $2,208, or 3% of your net income (whichever is less) for the amount to make a difference to your refund or tax owing.
For example, let’s say your 2016 net income is $30,000. On October 1, 2016, you paid $300 for prescription glasses and that was your only medical expense for the year. Since your medical expense is less than 3% of your net income, entering this amount on your 2016 tax return won’t make a difference to your refund or tax owed.
2016 Net income = $30,000
2016 Medical expenses = $300
$30,000 X 3% = $900
$300 - $900 = –$600 -- a negative amount can’t be claimed
However, since medical expenses paid in any 12-month period ending in the tax year are claimable, you might be able to combine the above expense amount with other medical expenses you’ll have next year and claim it on that year’s return.
October 1, 2016
$300 for glasses
February 10, 2017
$500 for prescriptions
June 5, 2017
$1200 for dental services
Total medical expenses from October 1, 2016 to October 1, 2017
2016 Net income = $30,000
$30,000 X 3% = $900
$2,000 - $900 = $1,100 -- your 2017 claimable medical expenses amount
I didn’t enter medical expenses but I still see an amount on my return!
You might see an amount for medical expenses on your return, even if you didn’t enter it on the Medical expenses page in H&R Block’s tax software. This occurs if you paid premiums to a private health services plan through your payroll and this amount was included in box 85 of your T4 slip or box 135 of your T4A slip.
These amounts qualify as medical expenses and H&R Block’s tax software automatically claims them for you on your tax return.
Where can I learn more?
- Do you have low income and high medical expenses? You might qualify for a separate Refundable medical tax expense supplement. (CRA website)
- Québec medical tax expense supplement (Revenu Quebec website)