In a December 4, 2018 Technical Interpretation, CRA was asked whether the costs of installing a steam shower (sauna) and hydrotherapy pool could be eligible for the medical expense tax credit (METC). The use of these devices was recommended as treatment to maintain strength and mobility.

CRA noted that, for renovations to be eligible, they must:

  1. enable the patient to gain access to the dwelling or be mobile and functional within it;
  2. not typically be expected to increase the value of the dwelling; and
  3. not normally be undertaken by individuals with normal physical development or who do not have a severe and prolonged mobility impairment.

While the expenses contemplated may meet criteria (a), CRA opined they would likely fail criteria (b) and (c) and, therefore, not be eligible for the METC. However, eligibility remains a question of fact, with the onus on the taxpayer to demonstrate that all requirements were met.

ACTION ITEM: There are several renovations that can be eligible for one or both of these credits. Receipts, invoices and/or other supporting documents should clearly identify the health benefits and purpose.

Redistribution of this material is prohibited.