Key Post Tax relief for medical and dental expenses

Discussion in 'Tax' started by huskerdu, 6 Oct 2009.

  1. huskerdu

    huskerdu Frequent Poster

    Updated : November 2013

    Please reply with any comments.

    I am particularly interested in anyone with personal experience of claiming tax credits for medical or dental work carried out aboard
    or claiming for nursing care expenses who would be willing to shares their experiences with us


    All taxpayers can claim tax relief for certain medical expenses paid.
    This key post attempts to summarise this tax relief and deals only with the situation in 2013. This is an overall summary should help most people. There are special situations like those with certain long term illnesses. I have not covered all of these cases in detail at this time.

    This post is a summary of the Revenue leaflet IT 6 which has more details on a lot of these topics

    The general summary is

    You can only claim tax relief at the standard tax rate (currently 20%), even if you pay the marginal tax of 41% on some of your income. There is no relief from income levies or PRSI.

    The treatment must be carried out by a medical practitioner i.e. Medical doctor, physiotherapist, speech therapist.
    Alternative medical treatments(i.e. acupuncture) are not covered unless carried out by a medical practitioner.

    You may claim tax relief in respect of any qualifying health expenses paid by you in respect of any individual. It does not have to be a relative. So, if you are paying for your mother's doctors fees, you can claim them as medical expenses on your tax return.

    There is no upper limit to the amount of expenses which may be claimed. However, the maximum tax credit which will be given is the amount of tax which you have paid in that tax year.

    The following are covered, if medically necessary and carried out by a qualified medical practitioner

    • Doctors fees ( GP and consultants)
    • Prescription Medication
    • Hospital Fees
    • Diagnostic procedures ( X-rays, MRI scans etc)
    • Medical devices ( hearing aids, wheelchairs, false eyes etc) and repair and maintenance of the sevices
    • Physiotherapy
    • Orthoptic treatment
    • Speech and language therapy
    • Educational psychological assessments for children
    • Ambulance transport
    • IVF treatment
    • Some specialist dental treatment
    • Nursing home fees
    Cosmetic Surgery that is not deemed medically necessary is not covered.
    Vaccinations are preventative, so are covered.

    There are a number of more complex situations which I have not covered in detail

    - Long term nursing care
    - The costs for parents associated with having a critically ill child in hospital.
    - The costs associated with long term chronic conditions

    People with long term chronic conditions can claim some of the costs associated with these conditions. Examples of this are food manufactured specifically for coeliacs or diabetics. Patients with kidney disease can claim the cost of travel to and from hospital for dialysis. The details of all these situations are not covered in this post. If you are dealing with a claim of this type for the first time, I would suggest that you read the Revenue leaflet which is linked to at the top of the post, ask a Doctor what you can claim, or ask any relevant patient associations for help.

    The issue of nursing home expenses is more complex and is dealt with in this post

    Some expenses associated with having a critically ill child can be claimed for. See the Revenue leaflet IT6 for more information.

    In general, if you have exceptional medical bills, you should investigate if tax relief can be claimed.

    Dental treatment

    Only certain specialist dental treatments are covered. Your dentist will have to fill out a Med2 form for the treatment. If you have a treatment which is covered, your dentist will know this and give you the Med2 form.

    Dental treatment which is covered

    • Crowns
    • Veneers
    • Tip Replacing
    • Gold posts
    • Gold inlays
    • Root canal treatment
    • Periodontal Treatment (gum disease)
    • Orthodontic Treatment ( braces)
    • Surgical removal of impacted wisdom teeth
    • Bridgework
    Treatment Abroad

    Treatment abroad is covered, as long as the doctor or dentist is licensed to practice in their home country.
    I don’t know if foreign dentists are willing to fill in Med2 forms for Irish patients. Any first hand knowledge of this would be appreciated.

    What is not covered

    • Non Prescription medication
    • Routine Dental treatment (check-ups, fillings, cleaning)
    • Treatment that is covered by an insurance or compensation claim
    What happens if my Health insurance or the Government covers some of my medical costs ?

    If you are entitled to recoup money from your health insurance for medical costs, you cannot claim tax credits for this, as you did not pay the bill.
    An example is a GP bill of 55euro.
    Your health insurance pays you 30 euro per visit. You pay €25 (55 - 30)
    You can claim tax relief on the €25 euro at 20% i.e. a tax credit of €5

    The claim forms online or paper Med1 claim forms have a section for payments from other sources to facilitate making a claim in these circumstances

    Also, if you pay more than 144 euro in the month for medication, in most cases, you can claim everything in excess of 144 back through the Drugs Repayment Scheme.
    There is more information about the DPS here.

    You can claim tax credit only for the €144 that you have paid.

    How to claim
    There are 3 ways to claim the tax relief on medical expenses.

    If you use The Revenue PAYE Anytime online service to file your tax returns, there is a section for Medical expenses.
    Use a Med1 form and submit it to your local Revenue office
    If you are filing a Form 11, there is a section for Medical expenses.

    How it works

    Medical expenditure: €1,000
    Tax credit at 20%: €200

    If you claim via Med1, Revenue will send you a cheque for €200.

    If you claim for it on your annual tax return, Form 11 via ROS, or PAYE Online it will appear as

    Total Income Tax: €33,650
    Personal Credit : €1,650
    Medical expenses: €200
    Payable: €31,800

    Do not submit receipts but you must keep all relevant receipts for 6 years. The Revenue do spot checks . If you claim from a private health insurer ( VHI, Laya, Aviva, HSF), you need to submit original receipts and they do not send them back to you. However, the complete claim documentation from the health insurance company can be used instead of receipts for a tax claim.

    You can only claim at the end of the tax year. If you have treatment in one year and you pay for it in another year, you can claim for these expenses in either year.

    You must claim within 4 years. If you have expenses from 2009, you must claim for them by the end of 2013.
    Expenses for this year, 2013, must be claimed by the end of 2017.
  2. huskerdu

    huskerdu Frequent Poster

    Tax relief on Medical Expenses - Work in Progress


    What would you think of having a separate post here for dental expenditure ?

    1) Establish the general principles and main medical stuff in the first post.
    2) Deal with Dental expenses in this second post
    3) Deal with nursing home expenses and fees in the third post?

  3. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

    Great post

    I wonder would it be better to leave nursing home fees out of your post and let this response deal with them.

    See separate post on the complex topic of Nursing Home fees

    Tax relief on nursing home fees October 2012

    Nursing home expenditure is allowed at your top rate, while
    Medical expenditure in the nursing home is allowed at only your marginal rate
  4. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

    Would it be worth giving an example of how the relief is granted as sometimes there is confusion between the old style "tax reliefs" and "tax credits"?

    If you agree feel free to cut an paste into the original thread.

    How it works

    Medical expenditure: €1,000
    Tax credit at 20%: €200

    If you claim via Med1, Revenue will send you a cheque for €200.

    If you claim for it on your annual tax return, Form 11 via Ros, it will appear as

    Total Income Tax: €33,650
    Personal Credit : €1,650
    Medical expenses: €200
    Payable: €31,800

    This should read: "You can claim tax relief on the €25 euro at 20% i.e. a tax credit of €5"

    Someone reading your version, might think that they get a tax credit of €25.
  5. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

    Make sure to claim on time
    You must wait until after the end of the tax year to claim. But you must claim within 4 years.

    So for expenditure in 2013, you must make a claim before 31 December 2017.

  6. Megan

    Megan Frequent Poster

    You will need to fill out a Med 2 form for dental work done. My dentist in Newry filled it out for me for. She actual had the form there.
  7. Mrs Vimes

    Mrs Vimes Frequent Poster

    Great post huskerdu.

    Just on this point, it seems from my reading of the HSE's drugs payment scheme guide it is possible to pay more than the 144 per month eg if you end up paying over the "reference price" for a drug you only get reimbursed the "reference price"; also I believe not all prescription drugs are covered by the scheme (such as this one).

    I see nothing in leaflet IT6 to suggest that you cannot make a claim for tax relief in this situation although I assume it would be queried by Revenue.
  8. advice pls

    advice pls Frequent Poster

    Hope it's ok to add a suggestion.

    A lot of people don't realise breast pump hire falls into the medical devices category.
  9. Delboy

    Delboy Frequent Poster

    Is there a limit on the amount you can claimed in any year...i.e. €1,000 in exps, meaning a credit of €200?

    Perhaps it would be a good idea to answer this in the main post
  10. huskerdu

    huskerdu Frequent Poster


    Do you have evidence that Revenue consider a breast pump a medical device ?
    The Revenue leaflet IT6 says that if there is any doubt, a Doctor can write a letter to

    "outline how the appliance will help to prevent, diagnose, alleviate or treat the ailment, injury, infirmity, defect or disability from which the patient is suffering."

    I cant see how a breast pump fits into this description.

    If you know that Revenue do accept it, then please let us know and I will add this comment.
  11. huskerdu

    huskerdu Frequent Poster


    I agree. All good comments so far . I will update the post accordingly.
  12. advice pls

    advice pls Frequent Poster

    I was advised by the supplier to keep the receipt for med 1 purposes. I've never had my receipts checked so can't say revenue accept it but the ones you hire are hospital grade ones not the ones you buy in mothercare so are equipment and the Irish premature babies have confirmed with revenue according to their website.
  13. huskerdu

    huskerdu Frequent Poster


  14. advice pls

    advice pls Frequent Poster

    Just checked the revenue wording and its a medical, surgical or nursing appliance used on the advice of a practitioner.

    That should cover it?
  15. huskerdu

    huskerdu Frequent Poster


    I think that the details of the DPS would be better in a key post of its own. I know that Brendan is interested in an up to date post of the cost of medication.

    I don't know anything about the number of drugs which are not on the approved list.
  16. huskerdu

    huskerdu Frequent Poster

    I genuinely don't know. I am not saying that I think it should not be covered, but I cant see how it fits into the Revenue definition of health care below.
    What is 'health care'?

    For the purpose of claiming tax relief 'health care' means prevention, diagnosis, alleviation or treatment of -
    • an ailment
    • an injury
    • an infirmity
    • a defect
    • a disability
    and includes care received by a woman in respect of a pregnancy as well as routine maternity care.
  17. advice pls

    advice pls Frequent Poster

    Pregnancy and routine maternity care also includes the post natal period so through that maybe? It's confusing alright
  18. huskerdu

    huskerdu Frequent Poster

    I agree its confusing.

    It sounds clear cut if you have a new bornor premature baby who wont suck, but not so clear cut when you are pumping for convenience with a 6 month old.

    I'll add it as a note.
  19. advice pls

    advice pls Frequent Poster

    Hospital grade pumps are expensive to hire so I guess the number using them at six months would be very small.
  20. Slim

    Slim Frequent Poster

    Great post. Just to add. As far as I know, there is a threshhold of €250 per family p.a. on which the relief at 20% will not be allowed.