What Medical Expenses Eligible for Medical Expenses Tax Offset?

(last updated 23/04/2014) 

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The medical expenses must be for:

  • you
  • your spouse – married or de facto – regardless of their income
  • your children who were aged under 21 years, including adopted and stepchildren, regardless of their income
  • any other child aged under 21 years – not a student – whom you maintained and whose separate net income (SNI) was less than $1,786 for the first child and lessthan $1,410 for the second child and any subsequentchildren
  • a student aged under 25 years whom you maintained and whose SNI was less than $1,786
  • child-housekeeper, but only if you can claim a taxoffset for them at item T1 on your tax return, or
  • an invalid relative, parent or spouse’s parent, but onlyif you can claim a dependant tax offset for Parent, Spouse's parent or invalid relative.
You and your dependants must be Australian residents for tax purposes, but you can claim medical expenses paid while travelling overseas. You can also include the medical expenses of your spouse and dependent children if they were waiting to migrate to Australia in 2008–09 and if you were taking the steps necessary for their migration in a timely manner.

Medical expenses which qualify for the tax offset also include payments:

  • to dentists, orthodontists or registered dental mechanics
  • to opticians or optometrists, including for the cost ofprescription spectacles or contact lenses
  • to a carer who looks after a person who is blind orpermanently confined to a bed or wheelchair
  • for therapeutic treatment under the direction of a doctor
  • for medical aids prescribed by a doctor
  • for artificial limbs or eyes and hearing aids
  • for maintaining a properly trained dog for guiding orassisting people with a disability (but not for socialtherapy)
  • for laser eye surgery, and
  • for treatment under an in-vitro fertilisation program.

Expenses which do not qualify for the tax offset include payments made for:

  • cosmetic operations for which a Medicare benefit isnot payable
  • dental services or treatments that are solely cosmetic
  • therapeutic treatment where the patient is notformally referred by a doctor – a mere suggestion or recommendation by a doctor to the patient is notenough for the treatment to qualify; the patient mustbe referred to a particular person for specific treatment
  • chemist-type items – such as tablets for pain relief – purchased in retail outlets or health food stores
  • inoculations for overseas travel
  • non-prescribed vitamins or health foods
  • travel or accommodation expenses associated withmedical treatment
  • contributions to a private health insurer
  • purchases from a chemist that are not related to an illness or operation
  • life insurance medical examinations
  • ambulance charges and subscriptions, and
  • funeral expenses.

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