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medical expenses income taxes claim
80 Posts
hey all,

more of a rant than anything, however curious if anyone has had a similar experience.

I included a claim for medical expenses on my wife's tax return for 2015 which included several things (not relevant to this) and mileage for my trips back and forth to radiation.  As a bit of background, I'm totally a "by the book" type (maybe why this bugs me so much).  I required 35 radiation treatments and submitted a claim for the to and back "mileage" accordingly.  I like about 45 km away from Princess Margaret so I'm eligible to claim these expenses so I thought!  

After initially being asked for support for our medical claim this summer, we just received a letter notifying us that our mileage claim has been pro-rated to 21 trips or "the amount of trips we are eligible to claim".  The monetary aspect of this adjustment is a couple hundred bucks and not the end of the world to me.  It's the fact that I cannot for the life of me find anything that states travel in a year is limited to 21 trips - the CRA auditor must have pulled this number from somewhere?  Anyhow I'm calling them to inquire this morning and i'll let the group know (assuming it would be helpful information to others).

Thanks for reading my rant here, really I'm just irked that I tried to do things by the book (and didn't obviously!) and feel like I'm somewhat "under attack" yet again.  Such is life sometimes I guess!
24 Replies
21 Posts
Hi mchesher,

That's really crappy. Nothing like having the rug pulled out from under you...hopefully the CRA will be able to sort this out and you'll return with some good news.

Best of luck!
1181 Posts
I would really question that. My previous husband had a stroke and i had to travel 155 km one way to the hospital for 6 months. I had an accountant do my taxes due to all the receipts i had for medical expenses and i was only 22 and had zero clue of what i was doing. i got back over $3500.00. i remember nothing about a limted number of trips. However i will also say that was in 1996 so who knows they could have changed things too.
80 Posts
thanks guys.  Called the general help line this morning and they had no clue either on this (shocking)

looks like I'm going to have to ask the auditor herself, fun.

anyhow would just rather let sleeping dogs lie but paying even a nickel if they made an error or I don't understand the "why" would just drive me up the wall.  We'll see what some more digging leads to, if I can get an answer as to why it was treated like this and it makes sense, then so be it.  it just makes zero sense to me now...

1181 Posts
It would drive me nuts too. Please update us when...um if...you get a hold of the auditor.

80 Posts
Hi all,

This is one of those "all is well that ends well" situations.  I didn't catch it but the letter from my oncologist's office had a typo it in.  So the timeline stated from April 2015 to June 2016 (should have been June 2015).  This caused the CRA auditor to pro-rate the 35 treatments over this false 15 month period and deem that only 21 of them were eligible in the 2015 tax year.

Long story short, a follow-up phone call to the auditor netted this explanation, a re-print of the letter and resubmission of the revised letter and all will be well.  Thanks for reading this far and your support!

So glad it all worked out! Thanks for updating us.

Wow, what an ordeal.  I could just imagine.  Thanks for this "heads up"  I noticed my surgeon's receptionist put the wrong date on a note I had to give my employer, thank goodness my supervisor accepted it as is.  I crossed out and put the correct day.  One never knows.  It's always a good idea to check documents before submitting.  
224 Posts
I was diagnosed January 2016 with Stage IV Medularry Thyroid Cancer. Since that time I have had surgery and radiation. I have been keeping all of my receipts for parking as it really adds up here in Calgary. A freind told me that I can deduct this for tax purposes as medical expence. I see that some have also claimed mileage. I have dates and location for all of my appointments. My question is "How do I establish the cost per kilometer to claim?" In 2016 I had 54 appointments at various medical venues across the city. Parking alone was over $350.00. Who knew?????
mchesher‍ - do you know?
80 Posts
With the obvious caveat that I’m not a lawyer or accountant who is able to provide tax-related advice J 
I’d start here (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/rc4065/rc4065-e.html#trvlxpnss).  There are differences in what you’re able to claim if you’re travelling >40km one way and >80km one way.  From what I understand, you’re unable to claim if the one way trip was under 40km. 
With that in mind you can use the detailed or simplified method.  Personally, I used the simplified method (e.g. just distance x. mileage rate x # of trips required).  Given I used the simplified rate, I was unable to separately claim parking.
I used the rates from the CRA website (I pulled the alberta rate for you) and google maps to get the exact distance of a 1 way trip in kilometres.  Given you sound like you were going to various venues, you may have more calculating to do then I did (as all my treatments were at one place), however it is what it is I’m afraid.
Table of 2016 kilometre rates for the province or territory
Province or territory Cents/kilometre
Alberta 43.5
Source: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/travelcosts/
Anyhow I hope that was helpful – let me know if you have other questions I may be able to help with.  It’s a pain I won’t lie and to top it off, we were audited by the CRA and had to evidence everything related to the claim – fun (please don’t ask my opinions on this J).  Good luck!

224 Posts
Well thanks so much for the information and the link. I have been doing the google map things and recording distance. Unfortunately I don't think many were >40 KM one way. I will see where it works out. Thanks again for the input.
178 Posts
greetings thankyou so much for the link, with regards to deductions. I thought I could deduct husband - who has cancer, as a dependant as he is retirered and I was working full time. I was told that the only thing I could claim was parking expenses which were $20.00 per visit at the parking garage behind Princess Margaret and Mt. Sinai. this we did with success. This year we will try claiming milage as we are travelling from Ajax which is a good hike. Lastly my tip for the day. Parking behind Mt Sinai/ pmh is cheaper if you get there BEFORE 9am also there is a toronto parking app out there to down load on your phones- shows where cheap parking is - hope it helps
136 Posts
I am in Ontario. I can claim parking?? I am less than 8 km from the cancer centre.
19 Posts
I believe the federal rules for parking costs is u have to be minimum of 40kms from medical facility. this socks for me, too. we are 25 kms so cld not claim!
178 Posts
re parking claim: all i can tell you is that we live south ajax and go to princess margaret downtown toronto it takes us about an hour to get there driving- we claimed parking expenses last year. The way I look at it is try they either give it to you or not
603 Posts
It burns my butt that people have to pay for parking at medical facilities at all. If the issue is people other than patients or family of patients using their parking lots, then they should have a kiosk inside that issues parking permits to patients and their families.

A friend of mine spent $25 per day for parking , for about two months, while her husband was recovering from a rather tricky heart deal.
80 Posts
So to close the loop on my own assessment - we submitted the "evidence" for the vast majority of the medical claim (basically everything but the parking which we were told we couldn't claim) and never heard another word from the CRA - amazing that they went to the effort to "audit" these expenses but then just let the last bit fall by the wayside but I'm not the one making the calls!  For what it's worth it was about $80 of parking expenses and I guess once you put that in the perspective of the tax credits it's not that much or not worth CRA time anymore.  Who knows and who cares I say - just glad to move onto the 2016 returns here - much less complex :)
I was just wondering about what one can submit for medical expenses.  I'm glad I read your post.  I have a lot of receipts from parking during my chemo.  So there is a mileage restriction?  I live about 8 km from the RCH.  I guess this means I can't submit my parking for my chemo?  My radiation is at the SMH so that is about 30 KM from where I live.   I'll have to check this out.  
18 Posts
I do volunteer income taxes for CCRA for low income persons and have always claimed parking for my clients. It is important to obtain receipts from the parking facility. You are not required to live over 40 km to claim this expense. That only applies to your mileage. Also if you are over 80 km one way, you are entitled to claim meals (for both you and spouse/partner if travelling together) and accommodations.
176 Posts
Living in Northern Ontario we get a travel grant which you claim every month, it is for having to travel for treatment or examination appointments. Therefore I guess I should probably not claim these expenses on my income tax. However I am sure there will be things I need to claim and probably best to have a professional do my taxes seems you never get audited that way. Cheers.
I have quite a collection of paid parking receipts, am I able to claim these on my 2017 income tax? Just wondering as this is coming up soon.  I see I asked this question all ready, but just checking again.  
2198 Posts
Must be tax time again!

I see lots of folks asking about what / how to claim medical expenses.

Below is the link from the CRA for 2017 medical expenses.

You will have to look for your specific situation - or call 1 800 959 8281 to get assistance.

ACH2015 - Andy.

1 Posts
So here's a heads up....

I live in London and I am required to go to Princess Margaret in Toronto for cancer treatment because the immunotherapy treatment that is saving my life is unavailable where I live (I'm in a drug trial) I live more than 80km one way from PMH. I began treatments in late December 2017, so for the 2018 tax year I just used my medical expenses for the entire calendar year. I am in Toronto 2 days a week every three weeks, add on to that 2 more trips every 9 weeks for scans and the trips add up.

I used the simplified method for calculating travel expenses ($17.00 meal, lodging if I choose to use it, and 58.5¢/km ) All of our medical expenses combined came to $15,000. We got selected for review of our taxes (as expected) and when the review was complete they disallowed about $11,000. We have reached out and are expecting a call back in a  few days, but according to the letter they provided it looks as though they are calculating  what we now owe them based on the detailed method.... doesn't seem right... they are asking us to pay $2,100 now..... hopefully after our phone call we end up with a happy ending as well.

Also, just to comment one the statement above that you can claim the meal expenses for a travelling companion, that only applies if you are unable to travel by your self. And you need medical documentation to show that you cannot travel alone. 

782 Posts
Yes interested been worried all the time living here in BC for out of pocket costs for medical or dental care needed . I do not have a provider . Who can I speak to .
How can this be applied in today's ITx who can we ask .❓ I do not even know how mine is being paid so far with no medical benefits in coverage Universlly in BC and unlike other provinces .My young family helps me with doing my income tax but it is a strain so they sometimes have referred my IT package to their financier . Not worth it for me to get an accountant,  though there is n excellent one in disability, accounting laws for here and other province . I did not qualify and I do not wish to drain my funds . 
When moving here , my young family often were saying it is not worth for me getting Medical/ Dental Insurance for myself because the monthly premiums costs and would amount to more then the annual,costs out of pocket . Now I am seeing it's adding up with Cancer Eyecare and Dental care costs . I will have to pay 500$ / 10 days , for lodging at the hospital cancer Centre grounds , plus meals and gas to get to the appointment for someone driving there as family . Elle29
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