- Learn one the most commonly forgotten claims on your tax return
August 7, 2012
Accounting & Taxation
One of the most forgotten claims relates to medical expenses.
While you cannot claim a deduction per se, there is a tax offset or rebate amount that you can claim if your net medical expenses were over $2,060 for 2011-2012.
Net medical expenses simply means the amount you were out of pocket after deducting refunds from Medicare and/or your private health insurer.
The expenses do not have to be just for you. They can also include your spouse and your children, depending on their age and income.
Medical expenses include payments:
- To dentists and orthodontists
- To optometrists, including the cost of prescription spectacles or lenses
- For therapeutic treatments under the direction of a doctor
- For medical aids prescribed by a doctor
- For artificial limbs or eyes and hearing aids
- For laser eye surgery
- For treatment under IVF
Expenses which do not qualify include:
- Cosmetic operations for which a Medicare benefit is not payable
- Dental services that are solely cosmetic
- Therapeutic treatment where the patient is not formally referred by a doctor
- Inoculations for overseas travel
- Non-prescribed vitamins or health foods
- Travel or accommodation expenses associated with medical treatment
- Contributions to a private health insurer
We’ve often heard people say that they can’t bothered locating the receipts or working it out. However, if you have spent $4,060 for the year and are therefore $2,000 out of pocket, you could get back $400 cold hard cash - just for spending a little time!
Let’s say it takes you an hour to locate or obtain (by ordering a statement from Medicare, or your chemist) the documents - That’s a return of $400 an hour!