Medical Expenses Tax Relief Claim

By Anne Reilly, founder and CEO of PaycheckPlus

You may claim tax relief in respect of any qualifying health expenses paid by you in respect of any individual. You can claim relief only if you cannot recover the expenses from any other source. You cannot claim tax relief for sums already received or due to be received from:

  • A public or local authority, for example, the HSE (Health Service Authority)
  • An insurance policy
  • Any other source, for example, compensation

You can claim tax relief on:

  • Costs of doctors and consultants fees
  • Items or treatments prescribed by a doctor or consultant
  • Maintenance or treatment in a hospital or a nursing home
  • Costs of speech and language therapy carried out by a speech and language therapist for a qualifying child
  • Transport by ambulance
  • Costs of educational psychological assessments carried out by an educational psychologist for a qualifying child
  • Certain items of expenditure in respect of a child suffering from a serious life threatening illness
  • Kidney patients’ expenses (up to a maximum amount depending on whether the patient uses hospital dialysis, home dialysis or CAPD)
  • Specialised dental treatment
  • Routine maternity care
  • In-vitro fertilisation

The following, where prescribed by a doctor, also qualify for medical expenses relief:

  • Drugs and medicines
  • Diagnostic procedures
  • Orthoptic or similar treatment
  • Hearing aids
  • Orthopaedic bed or chair
  • Wheelchair or wheelchair lift (no relief is due for alteration to the building to facilitate a lift)
  • Glucometer machine for a diabetic
  • Engaging a qualified nurse in the case of a serious illness
  • Physiotherapy, chiropody/podiatryservices or similar treatment
  • Cost of a computer where there is medical evidence that it is necessary to help a person with a severe disability to communicate
  • Cost of gluten-free food for coeliacs. As this condition is generally ongoing, a letter (instead of prescriptions) from a doctor stating that the individual is a coeliac sufferer is acceptable. Receipts from supermarkets in addition to receipts from chemists are acceptable.

The tax relief list of treatments and appliances changes from time to time. For more information, see the Revenue information leaflet IT 6 which is also available from your local tax office.

Tax relief is available on the total amount of qualifying expenditure. Relief will be allowed at the standard rate of tax (20%) with the exception of nursing home expenditure which is allowable at the higher tax rate, if applicable.

You must make a claim for tax relief within 4 years after the end of the tax year to which the claim relates. Therefore, to claim for the year 2012 you must submit your claim before the end of the year 2016.

You can claim a refund on any health/medical expenses via PAYE Anytime which can be accessed through myAccount (myAccount is a single access point for all Revenue’s secure online services (except ROS) and is the quickest, easiest and most convenient way to manage your tax affairs). You can also make a claim by completing the Form Med 1 – Health Expenses Claim for Tax Relief and submitting it to your Revenue office.

If claims require clarification during processing, you will be contacted and asked to submit receipts (including a Form Med 2).