IVF and Taxes

Canadian fertility patients are eligible to claim the cost of treatments and medications (those not already covered or reimbursed by insurance) through a non-refundable medical tax credit. Unlike a tax deduction, which is used to reduce taxable income, a non-refundable tax credit is used to offset the tax liability of net taxable income. Either spouse can make a claim for each other. Evaluate who can claim the highest amount and ensure the credit will offset other tax amounts owed/paid.

Establish the Claim Period

The claim period can be any 12-month window ending in the taxation claim year. For example, if for the 2011 tax year you can choose June 1, 2010 to May 31, 2011 (or February 1, 2010 - January 31, 2011 etc). The period must not overlap with a previous claim period. For example, if May 1, 2009 - April 30, 2010 was already claimed on your 2010 tax return your next claim period must start after April 30, 2010 for the 2011 tax year.

Claiming Travel Related Costs

If you travel more than 40 kilometers one way from your home to obtain medical treatment you may be eligible to claim your travel expenses. Track and document the distance and use the simplied method (no receipts) to calculate the claim. If public transportation is used keep receipts.

If you travel more than 80 kilometers one way from your home to obtain medical services you may be eligible to claim meals, travel, parking and accommodation expenses. Keep receipts for accommodations, parking and/or any public transportation. Meals and travel (driving) can be claimed under the simplied method (no receipts required).

Prepare to Justify the Need to Travel for Treatments

If you travel to obtain services (ie, out of Province) the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency, aka the Taxman) might ask you to demonstrate that it was reasonable to do so and that substantially similar services were not available closer to your home. Be prepared, the CRA often requires a letter from a medical practitioner to support the need to travel to obtain medical treatments.

Speak to your tax advisor (or a CRA representative) and your medical practitioner prior to incurring medical expenses.