How to Claim the Medical Expense Tax Credit: A Comprehensive Guide

Navigating the complexities of tax season can be daunting, but understanding the Medical Expense Tax Credit (METC) can make a significant difference. The METC is designed to alleviate the financial burden of medical expenses for Canadian taxpayers and their dependants. Here’s a comprehensive guide to claiming this beneficial tax credit.

Eligibility Criteria:

To qualify for the METC, you must have incurred medical expenses for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner, or your dependent children under 18. These expenses must exceed the lesser of 3% of your net income or a specific threshold set by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for the tax year.

Qualifying Expenses:

A wide range of medical expenses can qualify, including but not limited to:

  • Prescription medications
  • Dental services
  • Vision care
  • Medical devices (e.g., hearing aids, wheelchairs)
  • Certain medical treatments not covered by your provincial health plan

How to Claim:

  • Collect Receipts: Gather all receipts for qualifying medical expenses paid within any 12-month period ending in the tax year and not previously claimed.
  • Complete the Tax Form: On your income tax return, claim your medical expenses on Line 33099 of the T1 Income Tax and Benefit Return. If you’re claiming expenses for a dependant, use Line 33199.
  • Calculate Your Credit: The METC is a non-refundable tax credit, calculated as 15% of the amount by which your eligible medical expenses exceed the lesser of 3% of your net income or the set threshold.


While you don’t need to submit receipts with your tax return, it’s crucial to keep them in case the CRA requests them. Ensure each receipt clearly shows the name of the company or individual who provided the service, the date of the service, a description of the service, the amount paid, and that the payment has been made.

Tips for Maximizing Your Credit:

  • Combine medical expenses with your spouse or common-law partner to claim them on the tax return of the person with the lower net income.
  • If possible, bundle medical expenses into one tax year to surpass the threshold and maximize the credit.


The Medical Expense Tax Credit can provide significant tax relief for those with considerable medical expenses. Understanding what qualifies and how to claim it effectively ensures you’re not missing out on this opportunity to reduce your tax burden. For more detailed information or specific queries, consulting the CRA’s website or a tax professional is advisable.

Now What?

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