Pre Loader

Tax Relief on Medical Expenses

What category of Health Expenses qualify for tax relief?

Only health expenses incurred in the provision of ‘health care’ qualify for tax relief.

What is ‘health care’?
For the purpose of claiming tax relief ‘health care’ means prevention, diagnosis, alleviation or treatment of –

  • an ailment
  • an injury
  • an infirmity
  • a defect
  • a disability

and includes care received by a woman in respect of a pregnancy as well as routine maternity care.

What are qualifying health expenses?

Qualifying health expenses includes the following: –

  • doctors’ and consultants’ fees
  • diagnostic procedures carried out on the advice of a practitioner
  • drugs or medicines prescribed by a doctor, dentist, or consultant
  • maintenance or treatment in a hospital in connection with the services of a practitioner
  • diagnostic procedures carried out on the advice of a practitioner
  • supply, maintenance or repair of any medical, surgical, dental or nursing appliance used on the advice of a practitioner
  • physiotherapy or similar treatment prescribed by a practitioner
  • orthoptic or similar treatment prescribed by a practitioner
  • speech and language therapy carried out by a Speech and Language Therapist for a qualifying person –
     Speech and Language Therapist means an individual approved by the Minister for Health and Children and the claim must relate to a person under 18 year of age or if over 18 the individual must be receiving full-time instruction at any university, college, school or other educational establishment
  • transport by ambulance
  • educational psychological assessments for a qualifying person as outlined above for Speech and Language Therapist. Note the Educational Psychologist must be entered on a register maintained by the Minister for Education and Skills
  • Certain items of expenditure in respect of a child suffering from a serious life threatening illness
  • kidney patients’ expenses (up to a maximum amount depending on whether the patient uses hospital dialysis, home dialysis or CAPD).
  • specialised dental treatment
  • ‘In vitro’ fertilisation.

However, you cannot claim tax relief for any expenditure which:

  • has been, or will be, reimbursed by another body such as the VHI, Laya healthcare, Hibernian Aviva Health, the Health Service Executive or other body or person
  • has been, or will be, the subject of a compensation payment
  • relates to routine dental and ophthalmic care.

If you have a query regarding any medical expense, you may contact your Regional PAYE Lo Call Service.

Is there a time limit for making a claim?

Yes. A claim for tax relief must be made within 4 years after the end of the tax year to which the claim relates. Therefore, to claim for the year 2008 you must submit your claim before the end of the year 2012.

Who can I claim tax relief for?

You may claim tax relief in respect of any qualifying health expenses paid by you in respect of any individual.

Can I claim tax relief on the full cost of the qualifying health expenses?

Yes, since 2007 tax relief is available on the total amount of qualifying expenditure.

At which tax rate is the relief given?

Relief will be allowed at the standard rate of tax (20%) with the exception of nursing home expenditure which is allowable at the higher tax rate (41%), if applicable.

The following table sets out the rate of tax at which relief is allowed over different years
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Health Expenses Standard Rate Standard Rate Standard Rate Standard Rate Standard Rate
Nursing Home Expenditure Highest Rate Highest Rate Highest Rate Highest Rate Highest Rate

How can I claim tax relief in respect of qualifying Health Expenses?
You may claim tax relief by:

  • claiming online via Revenue’s PAYE Anytime service
  • completing pdfForm Med 1 – Health Expenses Claim for Tax Relief (PDF, 1.14MB) and submitting it to your local Revenue office
  • if you use a pdfForm 11 (PDF, 806KB) to make a tax return and claim reliefs and credits, by entering the amount of the health expenses claim at Panel I on the Form 11. There is no need to complete a Form Med 1 in this instance.

If the claim includes non-routine dental treatment (see Dental Expenses section), you must obtain a pdfForm Med 2 – Dental Expenses (PDF, 257KB) – Certificate by Dental Practitioner which is signed and certified by the dental practitioner.

This is required whether you claim on-line using PAYE Anytime or submit your Form 11 on ROS.

Further information can be found on the revenue website