What Travel Expenses Qualify Under A Private Health Services Plan?
Posted by Mike Frankenberger on
In this ministerial correspondence, the CRA stated...
“Paragraph 118.2(2)(h) provides that reasonable travel expenses can be claimed if a patient must travel at least 80 km from the locality where the patient dwells to a place where medical services are provided if substantially equivalent medical services are not available in that locality; the route travelled by the patient is a reasonable direct route, having regard to the circumstances; and the patient travels to that place to obtain medical services for himself or herself and it is reasonable under the circumstances to travel to that place to obtain those services. Reasonable travel expenses include accommodation, meals, and parking while en route to the medical facility and also once the patient arrives and is receiving treatment at the medical facility such as a hospital. In addition, if a patient is an outpatient at a medical facility and is staying at a hotel, the patient can claim the cost of meals, accommodation, and parking. If the patient’s medical practitioner certifies that the patient is incapable of travelling alone, the patient can also claim the cost of meals, accommodation and parking of a accompanying individual.”
CRA went further to offer the following general comments.
“Paragraph 118.2(2)(g) of the Income Tax Act states that payments made to a person engaged in the business of providing transportation services can qualify as eligible medical expenses if a patient must travel at least 40 kilometres from his or her home to receive medical services. If a person who provides transportation services is not readily available, the Act allows the patient to claim reasonable expenses incurred for operating a vehicle, including the cost of fuel, oil, tires, and maintenance.
Paragraph 118.2(2)(h) of the Act states that reasonable travel expenses other than transportation can be claimed if the patient must travel at least 80 kilometres from his or her home for required medical services. Reasonable travel expenses include accommodation, meals, and parking. Transportation and travel expenses for an individual to accompany the patient on such a trip can be claimed as well if a medical certificate certifying that the patient was incapable of travelling alone is attached to the income tax and benefit return.
The Canada Revenue Agency has reviewed its position with respect to travel and transportation costs for medical reasons. It has determined that costs for meals and accommodation while at a medical facility are eligible for the medical expense tax credit if it is reasonable in those specific circumstances for the patient to remain at the facility. In addition, if the patient is an outpatient at a medical facility and is staying at a hotel, the patient can also claim the costs for meals, accommodation, and parking. Eligible costs may include meals and accommodation for an individual accompanying the patient if the patient is certified as being unable to travel alone.”
If expenses qualify for the medical expense tax credit (METC) then they also qualify under a PHSP.
PLEASE NOTE that the above blog post, although believed to be correct at the time of posting, may not represent the current position of the CRA. Further this blog is not intended to provide legal, accounting, or other professional advice. If legal, accounting, or other expert assistance is required, the service of a competent professional person should be sought.