Tax relief on medical bills

Tax relief on medical and dental bills

Falling sick is a taxing enough experience without allowing it to cost you too much money as well. Many people do not realise that most medical expenses qualify for tax relief and that each year they can reclaim some of the money they pay the doctor, hospital, dentist or pharmacist from the Revenue Commissioners.

You can claim tax relief on medical expenses incurred by yourself, your spouse, dependent children or dependent relatives, as long as you have not already been reimbursed, or are entitled to be reimbursed, for the costs by a health board or a medical insurer, such as the VHI or BUPA Ireland.

An individual must bear the first €125 of the final bill while a family must bear the first €250. The balance is then repaid to you at your highest rate of tax.

The forms you need are Med 1 and Med 2, which are available from your local Revenue Commissioners office, or can be easily downloaded from their website

(The details are given at the bottom of this article).

When making your claim for tax relief on medical and dental expenses, you must retain receipts, so it is worthwhile to get into the habit of asking for receipts every time you or your family attend the doctor or purchase medicines.

You do not need to include these receipts with your tax claim, but you might be asked to produce them if the Revenue Commissioners choose your claim for detailed examination. It is possible to choose whether to claim the relief in the year that medical expenses were incurred or in the year in which they were paid, if they happen to be different.

You also have the option of choosing whether to make your claim on the basis of the tax year or calendar year, though these will soon become one and the same. Equally, you may opt to obtain relief on a VHI year basis. The choice is yours, so long as the same chosen period is used consistently, year after year.

You can claim tax relief for a range of medical and dental expenses including:

  • The cost of visits to doctors or consultants
  • Hospital treatment
  • Orthoptic treatment
  • Maintenance in an approved nursing home
  • Transport by ambulance
  • Kidney patient treatment, such as hospital dialysis, home dialysis or CAPD
  • The cost of prescribed drugs and medicines
  • The cost of diagnostic procedures
  • Hearing aids
  • Orthopaedic beds and chairs
  • Wheelchairs and wheelchair lifts (though no relief is available for adapting a home or premises to accommodate a lift)
  • Glucometer machines (for diabetics)
  • Physiotherapy
  • Dental crowns, veneers, gold posts, gold inlays, root canal treatment, periodontal treatment, orthodontic treatment, wisdom tooth extraction and bridgework
  • Severely handicapped people who require a computer to communicate can claim back the cost of the computer

Coeliacs who require gluten-free food can claim back the expense of that food. As you normally purchase food in a supermarket, the Revenue Commissioners require you to keep your shopping receipts and provide a letter from your GP confirming that you are a coeliac sufferer.

You cannot claim for routine dental or maternity treatment, nor for routine ophthalmic expenses. Teeth extraction, fillings and denture repair are not covered by the Med 2 form, nor are sight tests, spectacles or contact lenses covered by the Med 1 form.

You can of course get some of the costs of a sight test and glasses back if you pay PRSI and your optician will give you the relevant form for this.

If you are unsure whether a particular medical or dental expense is allowable for relief, contact your local tax office or telephone the Revenue Commissioners information service at (01) 8780000.

The Med 1 and Med 2 forms are available from your local tax office, or can be downloaded from:


anonymous - 10/04/2001 15:37

Can you claim back for dairyfree products/wheat free products which you need to get in natures way and like for coeliacs bear a larger expense than normal products?

Phil(pilib_o) - 10/04/2001 16:04

Very interesting, and I will send this to my sister straight away as she has two small kids.

Anonymous - 10/04/2001 16:31

As an endometriosis sufferer my bills do add up - as my GP is also a practitioner of TCM and Acupuncture - I presume I can claim these too?

David(doneill) - 10/04/2001 16:52

Is it possible to claim tax relief against corrective laser eye surgery (LASIK I think it's called) ?

martin(martyboy) - 10/04/2001 17:27

Are doctors likely to give receipts for past appointments (for cases where receipts weren't kept)...

Fergal(fergalmj) - 10/04/2001 18:35

We have just asked our GP for a yearly receipt. All GPs will produce this when asked as will chemists.

Anonymous - 11/04/2001 09:23

Another useful article! Thank you for presenting all of the information in an easy to read, easy to understand format. I am surprised that there is no allowance for sight tests or spectacles.

Colm(backman) - 11/04/2001 09:40

Osteopathic treatment is also covered under this arrangement. Your Osteopath will be more than happy to furnish you with an invoice.

Anonymous - 11/04/2001 21:40

Are services for alternative medicine treatments claimable against tax

Anonymous - 12/04/2001 12:59

Can I claim tax relief on medication that I purchased from a health store for which I have a receipt as I was given a prescription from a G.P. who specialises in alternative medicine?

Anonymous - 17/04/2001 10:53

Can I get relief for seeing a dietician?

Anonymous - 18/04/2001 22:59

It's a huge relief to know I can now claim back for the Crown I got just before Christmas. It cost me 500 and I am still playing catch up as I used money set aside for other bills to pay for it. Thank you so much for this article.

irene(ghost) - 25/04/2001 20:48

I find it extremely difficult to understand why asthmatics have to pay for their drugs while epileptics do not! Does anybody know the reason why?

Anonymous - 01/05/2001 16:03

It's good news because I lost my medical card and am afraid to get my front tooth (which is broken) fixed for the last 2 years, and now I can........sound!

Anonymous - 01/05/2001 16:08

irene(ghost): if you' suffer from epilepsy you can get a long term illness card from your local health board which lets you get all your drugs completely free.

Anonymous - 01/05/2001 16:46

Can i claim for seeing a dietician?

John(JDMcbride) - 01/05/2001 17:39

This is a help, but I was very surprised to hear when I visited the dentist today for the first time in a while, that because I was over 25 and ONLY paying PRSI for the past three years, that I did not qualify for any PRSI benefit. I think this is a disgrace!

johhn - 01/05/2001 22:37

I am a Psoriasis sufferer and use a treatment called Exorex which is only availabe in Northern Ireland. I can purchase it over the counter in any chemist there. It costs 32 a bottle which only lasts me approx a week. I was wondering if I would be entitled to any reimbursement for this.

Anonymous - 02/05/2001 09:37

What about cosmetic dental work that needs to be done as a result of illness, can you claim this??

Anonymous - 03/05/2001 00:36

On the Med 1 Form. It says that you deduct 100 if claiming for one person and 200 if claiming for two persons. I am a lone parent and I am claiming for medical expenses for both myself and my 2 year old son. Do I deduct 200 or 100. 200 would be unfair as he has no income and all the expenses came out of mine. Can anyone enlighten me on this, I need to send it in soon.

Anonymous - 03/05/2001 11:13

Can anyone tell me what the situation is if I were to get braces for child who is 16?

Anonymous - 08/05/2001 20:40

Amalgam-free dentistry i.e. regular fillings performed using the newer white fillings (cosmetically terrific) are allowable against income Tax .

Anonymous - 09/05/2001 12:49

A friend had medical bills amounting to 900. On completion of the Med 1 form they received a rebate of 100!!

Anonymous - 09/05/2001 13:43

yes Lasik treatment is eligible for relief

Anonymous - 15/05/2001 14:30

Is the cost of attending a chiropractor allowable?

Anonymous - 17/05/2001 17:50

Can I get tax relief for the cost of massage treatments?

Monica(MinnieMinx) - 28/05/2001 17:56

Does anyone know if MRI scans are eligible for claims?

Anonymous - 09/06/2001 19:56

can you get any tax relief for dental care for a child (8) i had to take her private as the waiting list is a year unless the child is in pain.she needs a lot done which is going to cost around 450.the western health board keep telling me there is a backlog

grahamr - 11/06/2001 19:52

my partner has just begun a course of anti-depressant medication. it costs around thirty five pounds for a twenty day prescription. she works and pays tax and prsi. how and when can she claim tax relief?

Anonymous - 11/06/2001 20:23

Whats the story with medical or dental expences incirred in the north? Do they also qualify for relief? Thanks

Anonymous - 01/10/2001 20:09

Do you send in receipts or estimate your expenses for a coeliac condition.

Tom(tomnelligan) - 09/10/2001 13:33

Excellent article and extremely usefull. I see many questions being posted here. The best thing to do is to call the Revenue Commissioners yourself and ask. Otherwise, at the end of the tax year, send in a claim for all the expenses you have incurred, allowable or not, and the Revenue will be quick to tell you.

Anonymous - 14/11/2001 12:15

In relation to Coeliacs sufferers. If you keep the receipts from your groceries and indicate on them the amount spent on gluten-free food, you can claim it back. However, the 100/200 rule still applies when claiming tax relief on medical bills.

Mandy(mandyd) - 09/01/2002 11:48

I note the comment that the cost of amalgam free filings are eligible for tax relief however the Tax Office have advised me that this is not the case. Please advise!!

bebee - 02/02/2002 19:30

What is the story with tax relief on getting a veneer done up north? Is it better value to get it done up north or done in Dublin, and if so how much does it cost?

Maeve(mayoabu) - 14/02/2002 16:02

What are the qualifying factors for PRSI benefit for Dental treatment, I am under 25 and have only been paying PRSI for a year

Anonymous - 20/02/2002 11:17

In relation to the over 25 year old that didnt have enough prsi if you were in college you can claim prsi credits for that period so you may then have enough credits to receive the dental benefit.

daniel(dannym56) - 30/03/2002 20:10

i have only recently started to claim tax relief on our(family)medical expenses,it is very important that people are aware that you can claim against your yearly tax bill

yreilly - 20/06/2002 21:06

I didn't realise you could claim tax relief on medicines obtained during the year as well as doctors and dentists bills. Is this correct?

Anonymous - 15/07/2002 16:11

Yes, you can claim relief on fees for GPs, consultants, X-rays, other tests and certain dental work as well as the cost of staying in a hospital bed. The forms to get from the Revenue Commissioners are the Med 1 and 2 forms.

Anonymous - 17/07/2002 13:53

Does anyone know if you can claim tax relief for electrolysis that's carried out in a beauticians?

daniel(dannym) - 17/07/2002 22:16

It was only in the past few years that i reliased that i was able to re-claim back, tax relief on my /family medical bills. I was told if i had reciepts that i could have gone back a full 7 yrs and had tax relief on them and i have to say it has been an eye opener in relation to the amount of tax that i have recouped.

Anonymous - 05/02/2003 11:47

How far back can I ask my doctor's surgery for receipts for myself and my family?

Anonymous - 01/07/2003 16:41

Can you claim tax relief on dental work done in Northern Ireland?

Anonymous - 23/07/2003 18:52

How do you access the answers to the above questions?

Anonymous - 26/07/2003 15:17

And you can claim tax relief on batteries for your hearing aid - ensure you get "hearing aid Batteries" written on your receipt. It all mounts up.

Anonymous - 19/11/2003 09:31

Can I claim tax relief for certain medicine i.e. optimax that my son gets for depression. Even though he has a medical card he still has to pay for this.

Blaithin(foggy) - 19/11/2003 10:51

Can you tell me if you can get tax relief if you get a refund back from Bupa for receipts more than 440 per annum. My receipts from 1 dec 2002 to Nov 2003 so far total 600 and I will get back 160 of that from BUPA I think.

Anonymous - 19/11/2003 14:26

In ans wer to baithin (foggy). Yes you can still claim back on the remainder. What you do is deduct what you've recieved or will recieve from private health insurance then deduct 125euro from that, then divide by 20%/40% whichever tax bractket that your in and that's the amount that that you should recieve back. Hope that clarifies it for you.

Catherine(katcha) - 20/11/2003 21:08

Hearing aid batteries are also tax deductible as, of ourse, are hearing aids.

Anonymous - 05/10/2004 15:41

can i claim tax relief on dental work done in Budapest

Anonymous - 01/11/2004 12:23

I would like to know if I can claim for tax relief on visits to a chiropracter? I can claim a small amount from V.H.I. but I have spent over E2,000 so far this year.

Anonymous - 05/05/2005 10:30

What is the number to call to find out if you have enough credits for free dental checkup and clean

LAURA(ACL28220) - 05/05/2005 21:24


Anonymous - 29/06/2005 17:18

Can I claim relief for dental work done in Northern Ireland?

Anonymous - 22/07/2005 18:54

Do you get tax relief on work done on your teeth abroad.

Anonymous - 24/08/2005 12:51

is tax relief available for dental work done abroad?

Anonymous - 07/09/2005 16:39

Can you claim Tax Relief on other medical procedures carried out abroad?

Anonymous - 03/10/2005 11:45

I am going abroad for a year and am getting a number of vaccinations before I leave. Can I claim the cost of these back on my PRSI?

Anonymous - 19/10/2005 11:46

Yes you can get tax relief on medical and certain dental procedures carried out abroad.

Gerry - 21/10/2005 17:47

Can you claim on the MED 2 for dental work carried out by a dentist in Newry. My wife had three fillings and a crown done earlier this year.

mary(marycos) - 25/10/2005 15:00

You can claim for dental work carried out in the North, but please note there is no tax relief on fillings or extractions (this is all set out in the Form MED2).

Anonymous - 05/11/2005 15:21

Can I claim back expenses for an implant and crown treament I received in Poland ?

jake - 07/12/2005 17:07

can I claim tax relief on Chriopractic treatements ?

squalins - 09/01/2006 19:27

I noted that on a previous post it was mentioned that Tax Relief was available for certain Dental Treatment carried out abroad. I have searched the site but cannot find out any further info. Could anyone point me in the right direction please, thanks.

mary(marycos) - 11/01/2006 16:16

For further information on what you can get tax relief on, go to the revenue site

Anonymous - 03/02/2006 17:13

I have searched the revenue site and cannot find any reference to dental work done in NI and med2 tax relief.

Karen(HJD41425) - 07/02/2006 17:04

A friend told me that she heard there were new tax incentives for coeliac that true and if so what are the new ammendments? I knew that we were entitled to a set figure to be refunded with proof of ailment. Is there more to this? I have tried to find more information to no friend said she heard it on the news!!

Tony - 22/02/2006 16:26

You can now get tax relief on private home care fees @ 42%

lou - 20/04/2006 11:45

Hi, I've sent my Med 1 & 2 off in the post 2 months ago. Does anyone know how long it takes before you hear back from the Revenue?

catherine(GAJ39978) - 24/04/2006 13:34

Really depends on which Revenue Office you are being dealt with by. The one with the biggest backlog at the moment from what i can gather is Fingal.

lou - 25/04/2006 11:24

Thanks catherine(GAJ39978). I managed to get through to someone on the phone and it turned out they were missing my P60. I don't know someone couldn't call or send me a letter. Anyway, it's all sorted now.

Aislinn - 12/10/2006 18:21

Has anybody claimed tax back for an Orthopaedic bed? How do you go about this?

b1 - 28/03/2008 10:55

Has anybody claimed tax back for an Orthopaedic chair? How do you go about this?

Marcoorlando - 21/01/2009 20:00

Hi, Can I claim a tax relief for eye specialyst consultancy fees (serious viral conjunctivitis) for treatment received outside Ireland in another EU country?Thank you very much to who will reply to my question.



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