• T6 Total net medical expenses 2014

    The Government has introduced legislation changing eligibility for the net medical expenses tax offset; restricting who can claim and what medical expenses can be claimed.

    To be eligible to claim this offset you must have either:

    • received this offset in your 2012–13 income tax assessment; or
    • paid for medical expenses relating to disability aids, attendant care or aged care.

    Did you meet either condition above?

    No

     

    Yes

    Read below.

    You need to know

    Attention

    Warning:

    This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.

    End of attention
    Attention

    Eligibility for this offset has changed.

    End of attention

    If you received this offset in your 2012–13 income tax assessment, there is no change to the types of net medical expenses that you can claim.

    If you did not receive this offset in your 2012–13 income tax assessment you can only claim net medical expenses relating to disability aids, attendant care or aged care.

    Disability aids are items of property manufactured as, or generally recognised to be, an aid to the functional capacity of a person with a disability but, generally, will not include ordinary household or commercial appliances.

    Attendant care expenses relate to services and care provided to a person with a disability to assist with every day living, such as the provision of personal assistance, home nursing, home maintenance, and domestic services.

    Aged care expenses relate to services and accommodation provided by an approved aged care provider to a person who is a care recipient or continuing care recipient within the meaning of the Aged Care Act 1997.

    Net medical expenses are your total medical expenses less refunds from Medicare and private health insurers which you, or someone else, received or are entitled to receive. They do not include contributions to a private health insurer, travel or accommodation expenses associated with medical treatment, or inoculations for overseas travel.

    This tax offset is income tested. The percentage of net medical expenses you can claim is determined by your adjusted taxable income (ATI) and family status. See table 1 for more information.

    For the meaning of ATI and how it is calculated, see Adjusted taxable income (ATI) for you and your dependants.

    Use table 1 to work out whether you can claim this tax offset. If you are entitled to claim, we will work out your tax offset for you using the information you provide in your tax return.

    Table 1

    Family status

    ATI threshold

    What can I claim?

    Single

    (single at 30 June 2014 and no dependent children)

    $88,000 or less

    20% of net medical expenses over $2,162

    above $88,000

    10% of net medical expenses over $5,100

    Family

    (with a spouse at 30 June 2014, or dependent children at any time during the year, or both)

    $176,000* or less

    20% of net medical expenses over $2,162

    above $176,000*

    10% of net medical expenses over $5,100

    * plus $1,500 for each dependent child after the first.

    For the purpose of calculating the ATI threshold, a dependent child is your:

    • child under 21 years old
    • child, 21 to 24 years old who is a full-time student

    regardless of their income.

    There is no upper limit on the amount you can claim.

    Attention

    When calculating your net medical expenses you can only include an amount paid for your dependants who were Australian residents for tax purposes.

    End of attention

    The medical expenses must be for:

    • you
    • your spouse, regardless of their income (see the definition of spouse in Special circumstances and glossary)
    • your children who were under 21 years old (including your adopted children, stepchildren, ex-nuptial children and children of your spouse) regardless of their income 
    • any other child under 21 years old whom you maintained, who was not a student, and whose adjusted taxable income (ATI)* for the period you maintained them was less than
      • for the first child under 21 years old
      • the total of $282 plus $28.92 for each week you maintained them, or
      • $1,786 if you maintained them for the whole year
      • for any other child under 21 years old
      • the total of $282 plus $21.70 for each week you maintained them, or
      • $1,410 if you maintained them for the whole year
       
    • a full time student under 25 years old whom you maintained and whose ATI* was less than
      • the total of $282 plus $28.92 for each week you maintained them, or
      • $1,786 if you maintained them for the whole year
       
    • a child-housekeeper, but only if you can claim an amount for them as part of your Zone or overseas forces tax offset at item T5 on your tax return or could have claimed for them at item T5 had your ATI or the combined ATI of you and your spouse not exceeded $150,000
    • an invalid relative, parent or spouse’s parent, but only if you can claim for them at item T5 or could have claimed a tax offset for them at item T5 had your ATI or the combined ATI of you and your spouse not exceeded $150,000 
    • a dependant (invalid or carer), but only if you can claim for them at item T7 or could have claimed for them at item T7 had your ATI or the combined ATI of you and your spouse not exceeded $150,000.

    For the meaning of ATI and how it is calculated, see Adjusted taxable income (ATI) for you and your dependants.

    You and your dependants must be Australian residents for tax purposes, but you can include medical expenses paid while travelling overseas.

    If you received this offset in your 2012–13 income tax assessment:

    You can include medical expenses relating to an illness or operation paid to legally qualified doctors, nurses or chemists and public or private hospitals. However, expenses for some cosmetic operations are excluded.

    Further information

    To find out which operations, dental services and treatments are cosmetic and whether you can include your payments for them, see Net medical expenses: claims for cosmetic surgery or phone 13 28 61.

    End of further information

    Medical expenses include payments:

    • 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
    • for medical aids prescribed by a doctor
    • for artificial limbs or eyes and hearing aids
    • for maintaining a properly trained dog for guiding or assisting people with a disability (but not for social therapy)
    • for laser eye surgery, and
    • for treatment under an in-vitro fertilisation program
    • residential aged care expenses

    Residential aged care expenses are payments made to nursing homes or hostels (not retirement homes) for an approved care recipient’s permanent or respite care if the payments were made to an approved care provider and they are for personal or nursing care, not just for accommodation.

    An approved care recipient’s residential aged care payments usually include an amount for personal or nursing care if the recipient has an aged care assessment team (ACAT) assessment that they require either low or high level care.

    Residential aged care payments can be for:

    • daily fees
    • income tested daily fees
    • extra service fees, and
    • accommodation charges, periodic payments of accommodation bonds or amounts drawn from accommodation bonds paid as a lump sum.

    If you did not receive this offset in your 2012–13 income tax assessment:

    You can only claim those expenses listed above that relate to disability aids, or directly relate to your attendant care or aged care.

    Expenses which do not qualify as medical expenses include payments made for:

    • cosmetic operations for which a Medicare benefit is not payable
    • dental services or treatments 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, such as tablets for pain relief, purchased in retail outlets or health food stores
    • inoculations for overseas travel
    • non-prescribed vitamins or health foods
    • travel or accommodation expenses associated with medical treatment
    • contributions to a private health insurer
    • purchases from a chemist that are not related to an illness or operation
    • life insurance medical examinations
    • ambulance charges and subscriptions
    • funeral expenses
    • lump sum payments of accommodation bonds for residential aged care
    • interest derived by care providers from the investment of accommodation bonds (because these are not payments for residential aged care)
    • payments for people who were residents of a hostel before 1 October 1997 and who did not have a personal care subsidy or a respite care subsidy paid on their behalf at the personal care subsidy rate by the Commonwealth (unless they have subsequently been reassessed as requiring care at levels 1 to 7 or received an ACAT assessment showing that they require either low or high level care)
    • payments for people who have either been assessed as requiring level 8 care or who have not received an ACAT assessment showing that they require either low or high level care.

    What you may need

    • Details of medical expenses you paid
    • Details of refunds of these expenses which you or any other person has received, or are entitled to receive, from Medicare or a private health insurer

    To help you work out what medical expenses you paid in 2013–14, you can ask for an itemised statement from:

    • Medicare
    • your private health insurer
    • chemists where you had prescriptions filled.

    Some of the items shown on these statements may not qualify as medical expenses for the purpose of claiming the tax offset. You will need to exclude these items when calculating your allowable medical expenses.

    Completing this item

    You will need to provide the amount of your net medical expenses and indicate if the medical expenses you paid for only relate to disability aids, attendant care or aged care. We will work out your tax offset for you based on your ATI and family status.

    To work out your net medical expenses, you can use the Net medical expenses tax offset calculator or use the worksheet below.

    Worksheet

    Add up all your allowable medical expenses.

    $

    (a)

    Add up all the refunds of these expenses which you or any other person has received or are entitled to receive.

    $

    (b)

    Take (b) away from (a). This is your net medical expenses amount.

    $

    (c)

    Write the amount of your net medical expenses at X item T6.

    Tick either Yes or No at the question Do these medical expenses only relate to disability aids, attendant care or aged care?

    Where to go next

      Last modified: 03 Jul 2014QC 40122