Net medical expenses tax offset - an audio guide
This guide provides information about changes to the net medical expenses tax offset.
To be eligible to claim this offset, you must have either:
- received this offset in your 2013-14 income tax assessment, or
- paid for medical expenses relating to disability aids, attendant care or aged care.
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Claiming medical expenses – an audio guide
The information in this guide was current at June 2015.
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Audio guide transcript
Welcome to your audio guide on Net medical expenses tax offset – an overview from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
This recording lasts approximately five minutes
We’re here today to talk about changes to the net medical expenses tax offset that may impact some taxpayers this tax time.
What are net medical expenses?
Net medical expenses are your total medical expenses minus any payment from Medicare and private health insurers. The net medical expenses tax offset is being phased out and not all taxpayers will be eligible to claim the offset this year. So which taxpayers are eligible?
To be eligible to claim, you must have either received the offset in your 2013–14 income tax assessment, or paid for medical expenses for disability aids, attendant care or aged care.
Anyone who received the offset last year can claim it again this year, is that right?
That’s right. If you received the offset in 2013–14, you can claim again this year and there is no change to the types of net medical expenses that you can claim.
If you are not sure if you received the offset, check your 2013-14 notice of assessment. Any offset you received for that year will be listed there.
What if you didn’t receive the net medical expenses tax offset last year?
If you didn’t receive the offset last year, then you can only claim for out-of-pocket medical expenses relating to disability aids, attendant care or aged care.
These expenses can continue to be claimed each year until 30 June 2019.
Can you tell us more about the eligible expenses starting with disability aids?
Sure, disability aids include items generally recognised to be, an aid to the function or capacity of a person with a disability. They generally do not include ordinary household or commercial appliances.
For example, the purchase of a wheelchair or the maintenance of a guide dog are eligible disability aids as they help a person’s daily living activities or provide assistance to alleviate the effect of the disability.
However, the purchase of a home air conditioner, although it may relieve discomfort, is not an eligible medical expense as it is not specifically manufactured as an aid for a person with a disability.
Thanks for that. What about attendant care?
Attendant care expenses relate to services and care provided to a person with a disability who needs personal assistance for daily living but who is still able to manage living in the community and either lives in their own home or in rental accommodation.
Care includes personal assistance, home nursing, home maintenance, and domestic services.
For example, if a person with an acquired brain injury pays for an attendant to come to their home to assist with grooming, clothing and feeding activities during the day that would be considered attendant care and eligible for the net medical expenses tax offset.
Finally, can you tell us more about aged care expenses?
Aged care expenses relate to services, or accommodation and services, provided by an approved aged care provider to a person who cannot maintain himself or herself independently.
Thank you David for the update. What if someone wanted more information?
More information on the changes to the net medical expenses tax offset can be found at ato dot gov dot au forward slash medical expenses
Or for advice on your specific circumstances, call the ATO on 13 28 61 during business hours.
This information was provided to you by the Australian Taxation Office. We are committed to providing you with advice and information you can rely on.
The information in this recording was current at June 2015.
Your narrators were David Tradinic and Jenny Seedsman.
This concludes the recording.
This audio guide provides general information about changes to the net medical expenses tax offset.