Medical Expenses Tax Credit Canada

The medical expense tax credit applies to individuals who have sustained significant medical expenses for themselves or certain of their dependants.

To qualify for the medical expense tax credit, the medical expenses must have been paid or deemed to have been paid by either the individual or his or her legal representative for qualifying medical expenses as provided for in subsection 118.2(2) Furthermore, the medical expenses used in calculating a medical expense tax credit for a particular taxation year:

  • Must have been paid within any 12-month period ending in the calendar year, unless the individual died in the year; in which case, the medical expenses must have been paid within any 24-month period that includes the date of death
  • Must be proven by filing supporting receipts (except for certain vehicle and meal expenses)
  • Must not have been used in calculating a previous year’s medical expense tax credit and must not have been reimbursed or be reimbursable

Please note that you should claim the total medical expenses for both you and your spouse or common-law partner on one tax return. You can claim the medical expenses on either spouse’s tax return. If both spouses have taxable income, it is usually better to claim the medical expenses on the return with the lower net income.

This is because the lesser of $1,925 (federal, for the year – see the tables of non-refundable tax credits for provincial/territorial amounts) or 3% of net income is deducted from the medical expenses to determine the amount to be used for the tax credit. However, if the lower income spouse does not have enough tax payable to offset the medical expense tax credit, it may be beneficial to move the expenses to the higher income spouse.