Section 6B of the Income Tax Act provides for an additional medical expenses tax credit (“AMTC”) which is calculated against qualifying “out of pocket” medical expenses. This tax credit reduces the amount of income tax a natural person (hereinafter referred to as the “taxpayer”) is liable to pay. The AMTC is granted in addition to the medical scheme fees tax credit (“MTC”) in respect of fees paid to a registered medical scheme.
The AMTC can be claimed by a taxpayer in respect of medical expenses incurred by that individual towards the medical expenses of that taxpayer as well as any of his or her dependants as defined. A “dependant” includes the spouse or partner of the taxpayer, any dependent children of the taxpayer or spouse, any other members of the taxpayer’s immediate family in respect of whom the taxpayer is liable for family care and support as well as any other person who is recognised as a dependant of the taxpayer under the rules of the relevant medical scheme.
In order for the expenses to qualify for the AMTC, the expenses must not have been recoverable by the taxpayer from any person (e.g. from the taxpayer’s medical scheme or an insurer under a medical gap cover insurance plan). Qualifying medical expenses can furthermore only be claimed in the year of assessment during which they are actually paid.
The types of expenses that would qualify for the AMTC include amounts paid for services rendered and medicines supplied by any duly registered medical practitioner, dentist, optometrist, homeopath, naturopath, osteopath, herbalist, physiotherapist, chiropractor or orthopaedist. Costs incurred for hospitalisation in a registered hospital or nursing home or home nursing by a registered nurse, midwife or nursing assistant will also qualify.
Any “over the counter” medicine will not qualify unless it is prescribed by any duly registered physician (as listed above) and acquired from a registered pharmacist. Medical expenses incurred and paid outside South Africa will qualify if it relates to services and medicines which are substantially similar to those listed above. Furthermore, the Commissioner may also prescribe qualifying expenses in respect of physical impairment or disability that could qualify for tax relief.
The AMTC amount is based on specific formulas and will depend on the taxpayer’s age (i.e. whether or not the taxpayer is 65 and older) and whether the taxpayer, his or her spouse or any of the taxpayer of his or her spouse’s children has a disability as defined.
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE).