Medical Expenses And Tips
The mental and financial strain that comes with paying for medical care can be overwhelming at times. On the other hand, there are ways to get a refund for these expenses when you file your taxes in Australia. With today’s blog post, we are going to discuss the various tax hints that Australia has to give in regard to medical bills. Continue reading if you want more information about how you can obtain money back from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) or if you just want to learn more about the several choices that are open to you (and how they work).
If you are a taxpayer in Australia, you presumably already know that you can deduct some of the money you spend on medical treatment from your taxable income. But what exactly are the guidelines and conditions that must be met? Which costs are eligible to be deducted from one’s taxable income? This article will provide you with all the information you require to ensure that you get the most out of your deductions for medical expenses and that you do not miss out on any potential savings.
There are some tax considerations related to medical expenses that you should be aware of. Because medical bills can be a significant financial burden, it is essential to have a solid understanding of the deductions and exemptions that can be claimed on your tax return. This article will provide an overview of the laws surrounding medical expenses and tax deductions in Australia, and it will be posted on a blog. In addition, we will offer some advice on how you can reduce the amount of your income that is subject to taxation while simultaneously increasing the amount of your refund.
Medical Expenses Tax Offset
It can be difficult to understand whether or not one is qualified to claim a tax credit for medical expenses. In addition, as a consequence of recent legislative amendments made by the government, the number of taxpayers who are qualified to receive medical expense refunds has decreased.
Net medical expense offset will be eliminated gradually over time
The government made an announcement in 2013 regarding a plan to eventually eliminate the Net Medical Expense Offset. The effort to gradually eliminate the use of the product would take place between 2013 and 2019.
During the years 2014 and 2015, the program that is now being phased down worked to gradually tighten the qualifying standards and circumstances that were necessary to earn a Medical Expense Offset. This was done in order to save money. As a consequence of this, there has been a discernible drop in the number of claims for medical offset during those years. The majority of taxpayers will not have the ability to make a claim for a Net Medical Offset on their 2016 tax return as a result of the phasing out the program.
Claims for this offset can only be made for “net eligible expenses” related to disability assistance, attendant care, or elder care beginning in the 2015–16 fiscal year and continuing through the 2018–19 fiscal year.
Your ‘net expenses’ are your total qualified medical expenses minus any reimbursements from Medicare, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), or private health insurers that either you or someone else received or are entitled to receive.
Claims That Qualify for the Medical Cost Offset From 2016 to 2019
The only types of medical costs that qualify for the Net Medical Expenses Offset in 2016 are those that are associated with disability aids, attendant care, or aged care services.
An object is considered to be an aid to the functional capacity of a person with a handicap if it was either made with that purpose in mind or is commonly accepted to fulfil that role. In general, this does not cover the typical appliances found in households or businesses. As an illustration, the acquisition of a wheelchair or the upkeep of a guide dog is both examples of disability aids. These things help a person with their day-to-day life activities, offer assistance to reduce the effects of the handicap, and permit increased involvement in society.
The costs associated with a person receiving assistance and care in order to assist them with their day-to-day living are referred to as “attendant care expenses.” Personal assistance, in-home nursing care, general housekeeping, and other chores fall within the category of examples of domestic services.
The services and accommodations supplied by an authorised aged care provider to a person who is deemed to be a care recipient or continuing care recipient in accordance with the Aged Care Act 1997 are considered to be part of the costs associated with aged care.
Your total medical expenses are subtracted by any reimbursements from Medicare or private health insurers that either you or someone else have received or are entitled to receive. The amount that remains is your “net medical expenses.” They do not cover payments made to a private health insurer, costs of transportation to and lodging during medical treatment, or vaccinations required for international travel.
What Does It Mean To Say Someone Has A “Disability”?
A disability is considered to be a handicap if it has lasted or is likely to remain for six months or longer and if it inhibits a person’s capacity to participate in day-to-day activities. Take, for instance:
- loss of vision that cannot be remedied by wearing corrective lenses such as glasses or contacts;
- a loss of hearing that makes communication difficult or necessitates the use of a device to assist with or serve as a substitute for hearing;
- Challenges with communication;
- Pain or discomfort that is either persistent or recurrent and causes constraint;
- The inability to breathe normally or the presence of respiratory problems that cause constriction;
- A loss of consciousness, convulsions, or blackouts;
- Difficulty in grasping new material or concepts;
- Insufficient utilization of the arms or fingers;
- Inadequate utilization of the feet or legs;
- The ailment of the nervous or emotional system that causes constriction;
- Restriction of the ability to engage in physically demanding activities or employment;
- a disfiguring or abnormal condition;
- Ailment or condition of the mind that requires assistance or supervision;
- Long-term effects that cause restriction, such as those caused by a head injury, stroke, or another form of brain damage;
- Receiving treatment or medicine for any other long-term condition or illness, and still continuing to experience restrictions;
- Any other condition that has a long-term impact and results in a limitation.
Residential Aged Care Expenses
Expenses for residential aged care and payments for in-home care must have been made to an approved care provider for personal or nursing care and accommodation for an approved care recipient in order to qualify as expenses for these types of care.
An individual who has been determined to be suitable for either residential aged care or in-home aged care by a member of the aged care assessment team (ACAT) is referred to as an approved care recipient.
Payments for residential care for the elderly can cover the following:
- Costs per day;
- Daily fees based on a person’s income or financial means;
- Extra service fees;
- Costs associated with lodging;
- payments made on a periodic basis toward accommodation bonds;
- Amounts that have been deducted from a one-time, lump-sum accommodation bond;
- Payments are made on a daily basis for lodging.
Thresholds for the Tax Deduction for Medical Expenses
- A person living alone who has an annual taxable income of less than $88,000 is eligible to deduct 20% of their net medical costs that are greater than $2,162;
- A single individual whose taxable income is more than $88,000 is eligible to deduct 10% of their net medical expenses that are more than $5,100;
- A family that has an adjusted annual income of $176,000 or less is eligible to deduct 20% of their medical expenditures that are net and are more than $2,162;
- A family that has an annual taxable income of more than $176,000 is eligible to deduct 10% of their medical expenses that are net and that are more than $5,100.
The claimed medical expenses must be for:
- Your spouse, irrespective of the amount of money they make;
- Your children who were under the age of 21, including any stepchildren or adopted children, regardless of their financial situation;
- Any more children under the age of 21 who were not enrolled in school and who you were responsible for;
- In the case of the first kid who is younger than 21 years old;
- A housekeeper, but only if you are able to claim a portion of their salary as part of your tax offset for being stationed in a zone or overseas;
- An invalid relative, parent, or the parent of your spouse, provided that you are able to claim tax relief for them as part of your zone or foreign forces tax offset;
What Kinds of Medical Expenses You Can Deduct from Your Taxes
There are many different types of payments that might be considered legitimate medical expenses. Some of these payments include payments for:
- medical professionals, nurses, or chemists who have earned their credentials;
- dental specialists or orthodontic specialists;
- opticians, optometrists, or opticians;
- A person who provides assistance to a patient who is bedridden, confined to a wheelchair, or who is blind;
- Treatment of a therapeutic nature;
- Medical aids;
- prosthetic limbs, eyes, or ears; hearing or vision aids;
- Maintaining a guiding dog;
- Laser surgery on the eyes;
- treatment with IVF;
- Residential aged care expenditures;
- Care facilities such as nursing homes, hostels, or short-term stays;
Things That You Cannot Deduct From Your Taxes as Medical Expenses
- Payments for cosmetic procedures for which Medicare does not provide a benefit;
- payments made for dental procedures or treatments that are performed purely for cosmetic reasons;
- Payments for therapeutic treatment in which the patient has not been explicitly recommended by a physician – the simple suggestion or recommendation of a physician to the patient does not suffice for the treatment to qualify – the patient must be referred to a particular person for a specific therapy;
- goods of a chemist’s nature that can be bought in regular retail outlets or health food stores, such as pills for relieving pain;
- vaccinations for travel to other countries or for the purpose of preventing the taxpayer from contracting an ailment (such as hepatitis C), even if the employer requires them;
- vitamins or health foods that don’t require a prescription;
- Expenses incurred for travel or accommodations in connection with medical treatment;
- Paying premiums to a private health insurance company;
- purchases made at a chemist that are unrelated to a patient’s condition or to a surgical procedure;
- medical checks required for life insurance;
- Fees and subscriptions for the ambulance service;
- Funeral expenditures
Financial Advice: You Can Deduct Your Dental Expenses
Because the time for filing taxes for this year is drawing near, now is a good time to reflect on the things you’ve been doing with your money up to this point. The majority of people will need to make arrangements for their individual tax refunds in order to complete this step; however, did you know that you can also claim some of the money you spent on dental expenses?
However, this program is in the process of being phased out, and as a result, now is an important time to educate yourself on the most recent information, and even more importantly, to speak with your accountant or financial advisor to determine the extent to which the medical taxation rebate could apply to your personal circumstances, as this article is only intended to provide general information.
The reduction of the tax credit for net medical expenses
The government made the decision to eliminate the Net Medical Expenses Tax Offset on May 14, 2013, when it presented its budget for the 2013–2014 fiscal year. At the moment, this offset is only applicable to taxpayers who received the offset in the financial year 2012/2013. Similarly, taxpayers will only be eligible for the 2014/2015 financial year if they obtain this offset in the current financial year 2013/2014. Taxpayers who have out-of-pocket medical expenses until July 1, 2019, that are related to disability assistance, attendant care, or aged care charges are the exception to this regulation.
You may be entitled to receive a tax offset from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) depending on the amount you spent on dental treatments during the previous tax year if you submitted your claim in a timely manner (ATO). When this is taken into consideration, there is an even stronger case for you to take care of your oral health by obtaining the necessary treatment.
How Does It Work?
If you have net medical expenses in the period of 2013-2014 totalling more than $2,120, you should investigate whether or not you qualify for this tax offset. This is the amount that you are responsible for paying in addition to any refunds that you receive from Medicare or your private health insurer.
The amount that you contributed to your private health insurance or the costs of travel and lodging that were related to medical treatment that you received during the year are not included in the “medical expenses” column of your income tax return. Vaccinations administered for the purpose of international travel are not included either.
These medical costs consist of payments paid to dental professionals such as dentists, orthodontists, and licensed dental mechanics. You are also eligible to receive reimbursement for any payments that you made to an optician or optometrist, for a therapeutic treatment that was carried out under the direction of a doctor, for medical aids that were prescribed to you by your doctor, for artificial limbs or eyes, for hearing aids, and for certain other categories of medical expenses.
However, it is essential to keep in mind that any dental services or treatments that are intended solely for cosmetic purposes do not qualify for this tax offset.
You have the ability to make a claim for these costs for yourself, your spouse, and certain other parties. These parties can include children who are under the age of 21 and students who are under the age of 25 who you maintained. You may be able to deduct 10 percent of the net medical expenses that are more than $5,000 or 20 percent of the net medical expenses that are more than $2,120, depending on the size of your family and the level of adjusted taxable income (ATI).
You will need to have all of the information regarding the dental procedures that you have had in order to apply for this tax offset. In addition to this, you will also need information regarding the refunds that Medicare or private health insurance companies are required to provide to you or any other individuals who are relevant to the situation.
You have the option of requesting a statement detailing the medical costs you incurred and paid for during the 2013–2014 fiscal year from either Medicare, your private insurer, or the pharmacist who filled your prescriptions. After you have provided the exact amount, the ATO will determine how much of a refund you are eligible for based on your ATI and the composition of your household.
When are Dental Costs Eligible to be Reimbursed?
The fees associated with getting dental work done are sometimes referred to as “grooming expenses,” and the Australian Taxation Office places them in the “private expenses” category.
The term “private expense” refers to any expenditure that is not directly related to one’s work (profession) or job. Therefore, things that are considered to be unneeded or unrelated to the income are classified as private expenses. Therefore, if you want to claim your dental expenses, you can do so only if the following conditions are met:
- It is important for your job or directly tied to the income that you are getting for the services that you provide, so it is relevant either way.
To put it simply, we all have the same objective, which is to maintain a neat and put-together appearance. In addition, the majority of the tasks we play at work demand us to maintain an upbeat and professional appearance at all times. This is the reason why companies in certain professions may consider providing an additional allowance for their employees to use toward their personal grooming needs.
However, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) deems grooming expenses to be private and hence not tax-deductible. This is due to the fact that there are relatively few jobs or job positions that require employees to undergo grooming.
Job-Related Tax Deductions for Oral Services
The following factors are considered by the ATO when determining whether a person who has received oral or dental services is eligible for a tax deduction:
- A career as a performing artist, actress/actor, or model, any of which requires regular investment in personal grooming because of the nature of the work;
- If there is a correlation between the job that brings in money and the amount of oral labour that needs to be done;
- You were responsible for covering the entire cost, as your employer did not contribute anything;
- An invoice or receipt for the dental charges should be preserved as a record for up to three years. This document should be kept as a receipt. After you have submitted your tax return, it might serve as evidence of the spending that you incurred;
- The idea is that performers, models, and artists have to maintain their appearance or be willing to alter it if the part they are playing calls for it. Therefore, there is a clear connection between the quantity of money that people make and the appearance of their teeth. In addition, it impacts the amount of labour that they might be offered.
Several performers, for instance, have altered the appearance of their teeth only for the purpose of playing a role in the film.
In the film Pirates of the Caribbean, Johnny Depp is seen donning a gold crown in almost every scene. The false covering that had been placed on Brad Pit’s chipped tooth was removed so that it would be visible in the film Fight Club. A number of other actors and actresses have had dental treatment done so that they can play a certain character in a movie.
It is imperative that you understand that you cannot attempt to deduct medical costs by listing them under the category of “other deductions.” Imagine that you are trying to get reimbursement for the expense of dental work that you had done before you had a job by arguing that having a nice smile helped you land the position. In that scenario, the ATO will not accept your claim since “other deductions” must also be directly connected to earning money in order to qualify for the deduction.
Therefore, dental expenses are not tax-deductible, with the exception of people who work in professions in which their appearance is fully dependent on their source of income. As was just mentioned, this subcategory has only a small handful of work options overall. When it comes to people who have other occupations, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) considers all grooming charges to be private expenses.
Employers typically provide employees in professions that need them to look good with a particular allowance to cover the costs of grooming, such as flight attendants and news presenters, who are required to look presentable by their employers.
Avoid making any untrue statements; doing so could result in a monetary penalty for you.