Tax Treatment: COVID-19 MEDICAL EXPENSES

Medical expenses eligible for a
personal tax credit are limited to
those specifically provided for
by the Income Tax Act. While an
expense may clearly relate to an
individual’s health, it may still not
be an eligible medical expense.
CRA recently provided comments
on a number of medical expenses
related to COVID-19.

Face masks
In a February 25, 2021 Technical
Interpretation, CRA opined that
the costs of a non-medical mask, that is mostly used to
protect others from the wearer, would not likely qualify as
a medical expense. However, in the specific situation where
a medical practitioner prescribes a medical face mask or
respirator for a patient to cope with or overcome a severe
chronic respiratory or immune condition, the mask or
respirator would likely be an eligible medical expense.

COVID-19 vaccines and tests
In an April 22, 2021 Technical Interpretation, CRA opined
that a COVID-19 vaccination received outside of Canada
and a COVID-19 test (for example, those required for travel)
must be prescribed by a medical practitioner to potentially
be eligible as a medical expense. CRA also reiterated that
they do not have the discretion to waive the prescription
requirement.

Leasing costs of temporary accommodations
In a January 19, 2021 Technical Interpretation, CRA stated
that the leasing cost of a second condominium to protect
a family member’s health during the COVID-19 pandemic
does not qualify as an eligible medical expense.

Although expenses may relate to an
individual’s health, they should still be reviewed to
determine eligibility for the medical expense tax credit.
Collect medical-related expenditures throughout the year
such that at personal tax time, we can review whether an
expense is eligible or not.

Redistribution of this material is prohibited.