2019 Eligible Medical Expenses for Individuals

Medical Expenses - Clearline CPA

It is personal tax time again. As you start gathering all the information we need to complete your filing, it’s important to consider if the tax savings are worth the time spent tracking down your receipts for eligible medical expenses. The answer is of course, it depends, because CRA only allows medical expenses after a certain threshold is met. For 2019 tax filings, this threshold is the lesser of:

  1. $2,352 of eligible medical expenses, or;
  2. 3% of your net income


As an example, if you have $50,000 of net income, you will only begin to see a tax savings once you have more than $1,500 of eligible expenses ($50,000 x 3% = $1,500). If you had less than $1,500 of eligible medical expenses, there would be no need to gather the receipts, as you would not have exceeded the minimum threshold noted above.

What Can Be Considered?

Any non-reimbursed medical expenses paid during the year for you, your spouse (or common-law) and any children under 18 years old or dependents, that have not been previously claimed, should be considered. Medical expenses incurred outside of Canada are also eligible.

In addition to non-reimbursed amounts paid for prescription drugs, eyeglasses and non-cosmetic dental, below is a list of eligible medical expenses commonly overlooked:

  • Group health insurance premiums that were deducted from your pay cheque during the year (see Box 85 on your T4 slips)
  • Prescribed personal use items such as needles and syringes, air conditioner, air filter or purifier, incontinence supplies, heart monitoring devices
  • Laser eye surgery
  • Fertility related treatments
  • Crutches
  • Ambulance services

We don’t want you to spend time tracking down receipts for amounts that are not deductible. Here is a list of items that don’t qualify as eligible medical expenses:

  • Athletic or fitness club fees
  • Blood pressure monitors
  • Birth control devices (non-prescription)
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Organic food
  • Over the counter medications, vitamins and supplements even when prescribed (other than Vitamin B12)

If you are looking for more detail, visit Canada Revenue Agency’s website here.

There are always facts and circumstances that can create exceptions to these general parameters. Have a question? Reach out to your Clearline team to discuss your specific circumstance.