Are hearing aids tax deductible?

While three million Canadians currently live with hearing loss, just one in five people who would benefit from hearing aids actually wear one. The cost of hearing aids is often the reason behind people with hearing loss not buying hearing aids. However, hearing aids have the potential to transform lives, improve relationships and overall quality of life. But while there can be no doubt as to the benefits of wearing hearing aids, many people simply feel priced out of the hearing aid market.

A common question among people considering buying hearing aids is, are hearing aids tax deductible?

Tax relief on hearing aids

The good news is that if you have purchased hearing aids in the previous year, you can list them as medical expenses and receive a tax credit on your income taxes. You may also qualify for Federal Disability Tax Credit to help cover expenses related to your hearing loss.

What can you deduct?

The following hearing-related costs can be deducted:

  • Hearing aids or personal assistive listening devices including repairs
  • Hearing aid batteries
  • Real-time captioning service
  • Rehabilitative therapy
  • Sign language interpretation services
  • Visual or vibratory signalling device
  • Volume control feature
  • Travelling to and from hearing health care appointments

How qualifying deductions work

The basic medical expenses deduction equates to around 3% of your net income or $2,302 – whichever is less. Your out-of-pocket medical expenses should be more than this amount before its deducted. It’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t just your expenses but also your family’s as well. You may decide it makes more sense for whichever spouse has the lowest income should claim the medical expenses for your hearing-related costs. This is the same for dependents listed on line 331. Only expenses that are more than 3% or $2,208 will offer tax savings.

Tax credits

Hearing aids and accessories are eligible for tax credits as long as either you or your spouse paid for them within the past year and will not be reimbursed by your private insurance. When you file your taxes, you will need to list your out-of-pocket expenses on line 330 of the tax return. You’ll also need to claim the corresponding tax credit on your provincial schedule.

Federal Disability Tax Credit

Depending on how severe your hearing loss is, you could also qualify for the federal Disability Tax Credit. This is a non-refundable tax credit that helps to offset the financial burden of living with a disability over a long period, such as temporary unemployment or large medical bills. As permanent hearing loss is considered a disability, you will qualify to receive credits to help cover the cost of hearing aids and related expenses such as repairs, batteries and additional listening devices.

To qualify for this tax credit, you need to complete a T2201 Certificate and for this to be approved by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). You will also need your doctor or hearing care professional to sign the form confirming your hearing loss before you submit it for approval.

Claiming your deductions and credits

To claim these costs back, you will need to provide receipts that should be submitted attached to your tax return if you choose to file a physical copy. If you file your tax return electronically, you should save the receipts together safely as the CRA could ask to see them at a later date.

Claiming for family members

You or your spouse are entitled to claim for medical expenses, including hearing-related costs. This covers yours or your partner’s children or stepchildren who are under 18 years of age. If other family members rely on you for financial support and have been a resident of Canada for all or part of the year, you can also claim expenses you paid for on their behalf. These qualifying dependants include:

  • Children or stepchildren aged 19 or over
  • Grandchildren
  • Brothers and sisters
  • Uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews
  • Grandparents

If you need hearing aids but are worried that the expense might price you out of purchasing them, talk to your hearing care professional about what types of you tax credits you are entitled to that will help cover the costs.

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