Income Tax Folio S1-F1-C1, Medical Expense Tax Credit
Series 1: Individuals
Folio 1: Health and Medical
Chapter 1: Medical Expense Tax Credit
Persons seeking a less technical discussion of the medical expense tax credit are referred to Guide RC4065, Medical Expenses…
1.143 An amount that may otherwise be an eligible medical expense described under subsection 118.2(2) may be denied pursuant to subsection 118.2(2.1) if the service was provided purely for cosmetic purposes. In particular, subsection 118.2(2.1) excludes from eligible medical expenses, an amount paid for medical or dental services (including any related expenses), which are provided purely for cosmetic purposes. Cosmetic procedures that are necessary for medical or reconstructive purposes will not be denied under subsection 118.2(2.1).
1.144 It is a question of fact whether a particular service or procedure was provided purely for cosmetic purposes, and the onus is on the individual claiming the credit to substantiate that a particular expense is not subject to this provision. Thus, where a particular medical procedure or service is cosmetic in nature, taxpayers may wish to obtain a detailed description of the nature and purpose of the medical service from the authorized medical practitioner performing the service as a means of establishing that subsection 118.2(2.1) does not apply.
1.145 Procedures that would generally be considered to have a medical or reconstructive purpose include those that would ameliorate a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or a disfiguring disease. Some common procedures, which are not disallowed by subsection 118.2(2.1) are:
- breast implant and related procedures for reconstructive purposes after a mastectomy;
- hair removal, in limited circumstances, such as for persons with polycystic ovarian syndrome; and
- removal of excess skin after rapid weight loss due to a risk of infection.
1.146 Common procedures the costs of which are generally not considered to be eligible medical expenses because of the application of subsection 118.2(2.1) include:
- augmentations (such as chin, cheek, lips);
- filler injections (for removal of wrinkles);
- liposuction; and
- teeth whitening.
1.147 Generally, all expenses claimed as eligible medical expenses must be supported by proper receipts. A receipt should indicate the purpose of the payment, the date of the payment, the patient for whom the payment was made and, if applicable, the audiologist, dentist, medical doctor, medical practitioner, nurse, occupational therapist, optometrist, pharmacist, physiotherapist, psychologist, or speech-language pathologist who prescribed the purchase or gave the service. A cancelled cheque is not acceptable as a substitute for a proper receipt. In addition to receipts, proof of payment or proof of support may be required in situations where an individual claims the medical expenses tax credit for amounts paid in respect of a dependant who is 18 years of age or older at the end of the year. If required forms, receipts or other supporting documents are not filed with the income tax return, such as when the return is electronically filed (E-filed), they should nevertheless be retained and readily available as they may subsequently be requested as proof of the claims being made or in support of the information being reported. Receipts are not required for meal and vehicle expenses claimed as transportation and travel expenses under paragraph 118.2(2)(g) and (h), or in connection with bone marrow or organ transplants under paragraph 118.2(2)(l.1) where the simplified method of calculating meal and vehicle expenses is chosen.