Out of Pocket Medical Expenses

Who can claim for Medical Expenses?

If you are out of pocket for medical expenses for you and your dependants, you may be entitled to claim a medical expenses tax offset known as the Net Medical Expenses Tax Offset (NMETO). Depending on your family status and adjusted taxable income (ATI) you may be eligible to claim a tax offset for the net medical expenses you have incurred over the applicable claim threshold. The thresholds are indexed each year. On 14 May 2013, the Government announced in the 2013-14 Budget that it will phase out the Net Medical Expenses Tax Offset.

Please refer to the Australian Taxation Office for more information regarding what the tax offset thresholds are, who can claim for medical expenses and the phase out of the Net Medical Expenses Tax Offset.

What payments qualify for the Medical Expenses Tax Offset?

Medical expenses which qualify for the tax offset also include payments:

  • to legally qualified medical practitioners, nurses or chemists in respect of illness or operation on you or your dependants.
  • to dentists, orthodontists or registered dental mechanics
  • to opticians or optometrists, including for the cost of prescription spectacles or contact lenses
  • to a carer who looks after a person who is blind or permanently confined to a bed or wheelchair
  • for therapeutic treatment under the direction of a doctor
  • plus more

What payments do not qualify for the Medical Expenses Tax Offset?

  • cosmetic operations for which a Medicare benefit is not payable
  • dental services or treatment that are solely cosmetic
  • therapeutic treatment where the patient is not formally referred by a doctor – a mere suggestion or recommendation by a doctor to the patient is not enough for the treatment to qualify - the patient must be referred to a particular person for specific treatment
  • chemist-type items purchased in retail outlets or health food stores, such as tablets for pain relief
  • vaccinations for overseas travel or for protecting the taxpayer from illness (such as Hepatitis C) even if required by employer
  • plus more

For more information on what can and cannot be claimed as a medical expense tax offset, please contact H&R Block on 13 23 25 or find your nearest office with our office locator.

Important Note: If you wish to claim for out of pocket medical expenses, ensure you hold on to any details of the medical expenses you wish to claim, details of refunds you received, or are entitled to receive, from Medicare or a private health insurer and any lists of prescriptions purchased from a pharmacist. We have record cards available for you to use to keep the necessary records. Just ask at one of our offices, click here to locate nearest office or call 13 23 25.