Health and Medical Expenses

Health Expenses

Many people overlook the tax claim which is available in respect of medical expenses. Tax relief is available at the 20% tax rate for all medical expenses except for nursing home costs which qualify for tax relief at your top tax rate.

You must keep receipts for all expenses incurred during the year.

The most common expenses are GP visits and medicines, orthodontic costs tend to be a feature for teenagers and for older family members hospital stays and nursing homes are some of the likely areas for tax claims.

Any refunds from insurance companies or Health boards must be deducted from the expenses incurred before you get your tax relief.

No tax relief is allowed for routine dental and ophthalmic care. 


Who Can Claim?

Who ever pays the medical bills can claim for the tax relief. Claims can be made for costs for yourself, family members and for any other person for whom you paid the bills.

What Can You Claim for?

  • Certain Costs of Doctor/Consultant Fees, Specialist Dental work.
  • Diagnostic procedures carried out on the advice of a practitioner.
  • Drugs or medicines prescribed by a Doctor.
  • The supply, maintenance or repair of any medical, surgical, dental or nursing appliance used on the advice of a practitioner e.g. hearing aids.
  • Maintenance / treatment in an approved hospital or approved nursing home including Maternity care.
  • Treatment received abroad may also qualify.
  • Transport by ambulance.
  • Reasonable travelling and accommodation expenses if qualifying health care is only available outside Ireland.
  • Home / special Nursing – in certain circumstances.
  • Educational psychological assessments and speech and language therapy services for children.

Cost of Maintenance in a Nursing Home

This can be a very expensive matter for families who are paying nursing home costs for a parent or relative. The tax relief can be a very significant benefit in deciding how to meet the costs of same and can give rise to very substantial tax refunds for the persons paying the costs. An individual may claim tax relief in respect of the costs (less any amount paid by a public or local authority, insurance scheme or other compensation) of maintaining a relative in a nursing home, which has been approved by the Minister for Health and Children.

In some cases, the person residing in the nursing home may pay some of the costs from his/her own income and this can affect a claim. Before calculating the relief, any costs paid by the resident in the nursing home are deducted from the claim (or a maximum deduction of 60% of the resident’s income – it is Revenue policy to deduct this 60% of the dependent’s income regardless of whether or not it is used to actually defray the costs involved.)

You maintain a dependent in an approved Nursing Home and you claim relief in respect of the expenses, which total €15,000. Your dependent has an income of €8,000.
Health Expenses attributable to Dependent                 €15,000
Deduct: 60% of Dependent’s Income                             (€4,800)
Health Expenses claimable by you                                  €10,200

Qualifying Dental Treatment
This covers the following treatments:
·         Orthodontic Treatment
·         Crowns
·         Veneers
·         Tip Replacing
·         Gold Posts
·         Gold Inlays
·         Endodontics – (Root Canal Treatment)
·         Periodontal Treatment
·         Surgical Extraction of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
·         Bridgework
·         Dental Implant Treatment

When and How do I get the Tax Relief ?
Our  software systems will automatically produce the required tax forms to make your claim. However you must have a Med 2 form if claiming relief for specialist dental work. The Med 2 form will be completed by the dentist and certifies the type of work performed and that it qualifies for tax relief.

Relief can be claimed for expenses paid in each tax year, or for the year in which the expenses were incurred. Claims can be in respect of the health insurance subscription year or for expenses incurred in the actual tax year but must be on a consistent basis year on year. Relief is given by way of repayment after the end of the year.

Treatment received abroad

If you need to recieve treatment abroad i.e. it is not available in Ireland you can claim relief on

  • Your health care costs
  • Reasonable accommodation costs
  • Reasonable travel costs
  • Accommodation and travel costs of a person who accompanies you if neccessary.

How do I calculate the amount of Qualifying Expenses?
Our medical expenses claim calculator will do this for you. You will need to have all your receipts sorted into the relevant tax year and category of expense and have the totals for each category ready to input into our calculator.

The allowable figure is then claimed in your tax return and the Revenue will refund you whatever amount of repayment you are due.

Mr. Smart and his family incurred the following medical expenses;

Medical Expenses



Nursing Home Costs


Visits to G.P/ Medicines


Orthodontic Work (Train-Tracks)






Amount recovered from VHI



Qualifying for Tax Relief



Amount of tax relief



This is the amount of the tax relief due and will be refunded by the Revenue after the end of the tax year.

* For the Nursing Home costs tax relief is at 40% (assuming top rate tax applies) but for the other expenses tax relief is at 20%.


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