Tax Deductible Medical Expenses in Canada

Tax Deductible Medical Expenses in Canada

When tax time comes, the last thing you want to do is miss out on beneficial refunds and credits, either for yourself or your business. When it comes to missed tax savings, medical expenses top the list. A long list of medical expenses are tax-deductible in Canada—depending on how much you paid for your medical expenses, you may be eligible for a refundable tax credit that can make a significant difference in your annual tax bill.

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What Is Canada’s Medical Expense Tax Credit?

The Medical Expense Tax Credit, or METC, is an Income Tax Act credit applied to your tax return. It is non-refundable but may be subtracted from the taxes you owe.

The size of your METC will depend on your eligible expenses, your net income for the tax year, and the province in which you live. You may be able to claim a METC if your medical expenses exceeded $2,397 or 3% of your net income, whichever is less.

What Is an Eligible Medical Expense?

The list of tax-deductible medical expenses is long, and additional expenses may be eligible beyond what is listed by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA).

An eligible medical expense must be medically necessary for the health and well-being of you or a member of your taxable household. It also can’t have been previously reimbursed by a separate healthcare plan, such as a group healthcare plan or independent medical insurance.

Common Medical Expenses

Other Valid Medical Expenses


Medical Expenses Not Eligible for the METC

While most medical expenses are eligible for the medical expense tax credit, there are a few that aren’t, including:

  • Parking or travel expenses to go to an appointment or treatment that is less than 40 kilometres from your residence
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Supplements and vitamins


An exception to the supplements and vitamins prohibition is B12 shots if a doctor prescribes them for pernicious anemia. Certain types of cosmetic surgery to correct injuries, disfiguration from disease, or congenital abnormality qualify as well, but cosmetic surgery for purely cosmetic purposes is not eligible.

Who Can I Claim Medical Expenses For?

Claiming medical expenses on your tax return is limited to expenses you or your spouse or common-law partner paid for during a 12-month period corresponding to the tax year you are filing. You can only claim expenses in one tax year.

To claim medical expenses for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner, or your dependent children born between 2003 and the current tax filing year, you’ll need to use line 33099 in your personalized tax form.

Medical expenses can add up to a considerable part of your annual expenses. With the Income Tax Act, and specifically the Medical Expenses Tax Credit, it is easy to claim your medical expenses on your annual tax returns and receive reimbursement.

Learn More About Medical Expenses and Your Taxes

As a small business owner, there’s another way you can save on your medical expenses beyond claiming the Medical Expense Tax Credit—a Health Care Spending Account (HCSA). With an HCSA, you can turn 100% of your after-tax medical expenses into before-tax business deductions.

If you have employees, adding an HCSA option to your benefits plan will also lead to a larger deduction as costs associated with that are also tax-deductible. As a bonus, offering a more comprehensive benefits package will help you attract top talent.

It also improves employee satisfaction, which can improve productivity and loyalty, in turn decreasing the chances you’ll lose staff. Lower turnover rates are yet another way to keep your overhead costs low!

In short, whether you are an independent contractor, self-employed, or plan to offer group benefits to your employees, an HCSA can help you save more on your taxes by reducing your taxable income. At Group Enroll, we work with the top insurance companies in Canada to find the lowest quotes possible for Health Care Spending Accounts and other group benefits.

If you’d like to explore your options, fill out our quick quote form, and we’ll do the rest! You can also email us at for more information about tax-deductible medical expenses. We’re always happy to answer questions.