Health expenses are a big source of tax refunds and some of the biggest areas are associated with the cost of fertility treatments, laser-eye surgery, home care and nursing home care. Maybe it’s time to dig out those old receipts as you can go back 4 years to claim a refund.
IVF, laser-eye, home care and nursing home care are all qualifying expenses under the medical expense scheme. You must have paid for these for yourself or on someone else’s behalf and you can’t claim relief on expenses if they are reimbursed by the state, private health insurance or any other compensating body.
Need a tax refund? Apply here.
Have you had corrective eye surgery? You can get tax relief on the cost of laser-eye surgery or Lasik at the standard rate of tax at 20%. With the cost of such procedures ranging around €4,000 for two eyes, this is a welcome way recovering some of funds!
A tax credit is available at the standard rate of tax relief on the cost of employing a carer for yourself or a family member. The maximum amount of relief available is €75,000 in 2016 (€75,000 in 2015 and €50,000 in 2014 and previous years). You should claim the relief each year but you must deduct any amount recovered by the HSE.
IVF (In vitro fertilisation) treatments are not available in the public health system and can be very costly, sometimes running into the tens of thousands. Thankfully, there is some relief available on the cost of IVF under the medical expenses scheme. The main criterion is that the treatment is given by a qualified medical practitioner.
The drugs used as part of the treatment are also covered by the Drugs Payment Scheme. Under this scheme, you only need to pay up to €144 for the approved prescribed drugs, medicine and appliances required for that month.
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Nursing Home Care
You can get relief at the highest rate on the cost of nursing care fees you pay for yourself or for someone else. Typically you claim tax relief for these expenses at the end of the year, but in some cases it may be available during the year.
Other qualifying expenses:
• Doctor/consultant’s fees
• Treatments/drugs prescribed by doctor/consultant
• Non-routine dental treatment
• Ambulance transport
• Routine maternity care
• Certain items for a qualifying child with serious lifelong illness
• Educational psychologist’s assessments for a qualifying child
• Qualifying kidney patient’s expenses
• Gluten-free food for coeliacs
The following, when prescribed by a doctor:
• Wheelchair or wheelchair lift
• Hearing Aids
• Diagnostic procedures
• Orthopedic bed or chair
• Glucometer medicine for diabetic
• Engaging a qualified nurse in the case of serious illness
You may be able to claim for qualifying medical expenses incurred overseas, including treatment from a doctor or hospital practitioner.
4 years to claim so keep your receipts!
You can go back four years to claim a refund. For example, if you want to claim relief on an expense from 2012, you must submit your claim before the end of the 2016 tax year on 31 December.
Our specialised PAYE service can get back all the tax you’ve overpaid including medical expenses. To get started simply contact us at email@example.com or if you’re wondering what you might be owed, start by getting a free estimate using our online tax calculator here.
Don't forget to download our free PAYE guide here!