All About Disability And Medical Expense Tax Credits 

By Tevait Feanle •  Updated: 01/23/24 •  5 min read

Are you curious about the disability and medical expense tax credit sections on your tax return? This is a major tax deduction for many salaried and employed people each year, and one it is well worth leveraging to reduce your tax burden. Today we’ve assembled a quick guide to everything related to the disability and medical expense tax credits from SARS to help you make the most of these deductions. 

All About Disability And Medical Expense Tax Credits 

As part of submitting your income tax return to SARS each year, you will notice that there are sections for deductions regarding medical expenditures for both you and your dependents. This is a system put in place by SARS to reward those who are not reliant on the public healthcare system, which is funded by the government, and who instead cover their medical costs from private funds. While you won’t get all the money you spend on medical care and medical aid coverage back, it can represent a big deduction for your tax return. 

What Is The Medical Credit For SARS 2024?

Older systems of medical deductions on your tax return were replaced in 2013 by the Medical Scheme Fees Tax Credit or MTC. This returns a portion of your expenditure on a recognized medical aid scheme in South Africa to you as an income tax deduction. 

In 2024, the Medical Credit for SARS is as follows:

This deduction, in whatever combination is relevant to you, is for every month you are a member of the medical aid scheme that year. 

How Much Do You Get Back From SARS For Medical Expenses?

How much you get back from SARS for medical expenses is highly dependent on your circumstances. If you are a member of a registered medical aid, you can claim your MTC (as we looked at above) for yourself and your dependents. You can then leverage some portion of your additional out-of-pocket medical costs for the AMTC, or additional medical tax credit, as we outline below. This amount will vary based on the medical aid coverage you have, and your paid costs for the year. It can be a substantial amount for some people.

What Is The Disability Tax Credit In South Africa?

As we outlined below, if you have a qualifying disability, or your spouse or child does, you get an additional amount added to your AMTC, or additional medical tax credit. Instead of 25% of your qualifying expenses over 7.5% of your taxable income, you can claim 33% of all qualifying medical costs. Additionally, you can claim 33.3% of any excess medical aid rate which is three times the MTC you are due. 

What Qualifies As A Disability In South Africa?

While SARS and other government institutions will be quite strict in verifying disabilities, there is a generous definition of ‘disability’ under government legislation. It must be a long-term (or recurring) physical or mental impairment substantially limiting your ability to work and care for yourself. Progressive impairments, as well as recurring ones, are covered.

Usually, it must persist for at least a year- short-term disabilities do not count. The disability must cover loss of a body part, impairment of body functions, sensory impairments, and clinically recognized mental issues affecting your judgment, thought process, or emotions. You will need diagnostic proof from a registered medical practitioner.

What Is The Additional Medical Expenses Tax Credit For 2024?

In addition to the Medical Scheme Fees Tax Credit we outlined above, there is also the Additional Medical Fees Tax Credit, or AMTC. It is an additional rebate on top of the one tied to medical aid membership and covers a portion of our out-of-pocket medical fees for the year. It relies on a portion of your qualifying medical expenses. These are:

It can also cover medical expenses outside of South Africa that are equatable to these if you are a tax resident here.

However, you cannot claim all of these costs. For most working adults, you can claim 25% of the amount exceeding 7.5% of your taxable income. You can also add some excess from your medical aid fees to this amount, where your total cost is over four times the MTC allowed to you.

For people over 65, or people with a disability/a spouse or child with a disability, this rises to 33.3% of qualifying expenses, and 33.3% of the excess over three times the MTC

Can I Claim Medical Expenses From SARS If I Don’t Have Medical Aid?

You cannot use the MTC, or primary medical rebate, without medical aid in South Africa. However, you can use the AMTC, or additional medical tax credit, to cover what you have paid for your medical care regardless of whether you have medical aid.

Hopefully, you now feel much more comfortable about the medical and disability tax credits on offer from SARS. Remember, they can make for a sizable tax reduction, so be sure to use what you qualify for to help reduce your tax burden.

Keep Reading

How to Check Tax Refund Status 

How to Check Tax Refund Status 

This guide will tell you how to monitor the refund status with SARS, when to expect your refund, and what to do if you encounter any difficulties

How To Complete The Tax E-Filing Registration Process

How To Complete The Tax E-Filing Registration Process

Setting out on your tax e-filing journey in South Africa is a breeze. Just follow this roadmap:

How to Declare Dividends on Efiling?

How to Declare Dividends on Efiling?

What Does It Mean If Your Tax Return Is Negative?

What Does It Mean If Your Tax Return Is Negative?

Discover what it means to have a negative tax return in South Africa, how to claim your refund and avoid common delays.

How to Activate Tax Types on eFiling

How to Activate Tax Types on eFiling

This comprehensive guide navigates through the intricacies of tax types, explaining how to activate them on the eFiling platform

What Is The Tax Threshold In South Africa 2024?

What Is The Tax Threshold In South Africa 2024?

Understanding the tax threshold is an integral part of financial planning.. Read on to find out all the details about the tax threshold in South Africa

How to Request My B-BBEE Certificate

How to Request My B-BBEE Certificate

This article seeks to address some of the discrepancies in information by providing a comprehensive guide to all things related to B-BBEE certificates.

How to Get EMP201 On eFiling

How to Get EMP201 On eFiling

EMP201 can be submitted and paid electronically via eFiling, a free, convenient, and secure online service SARS provides.

How to Claim Work From Home Tax Credit In South Africa

How to Claim Work From Home Tax Credit In South Africa

This handbook will guide you through claiming the work-from-home tax-related credit in South Africa.

How to Check SARS Tax Compliance Status

How to Check SARS Tax Compliance Status

Today, we are diving deeper into how to check (and prove) your SARS tax compliance status if you need to

How to Find My SARS Tax Number Online

How to Find My SARS Tax Number Online

This article aims to assist taxpayers in accessing info concerning tax duties.Today's topic revolves around how you can find your tax number online.

How to Add A Taxpayer On SARS eFiling

How to Add A Taxpayer On SARS eFiling

This guide will show you how to add a taxpayer on eFiling, activate the taxpayer, and even register for individual eFiling.

How to Recover eFiling Password

How to Recover eFiling Password

If you have forgotten your login password or need to amend or change other details, we've created this guide to help.

How to Change Portfolio Name on eFiling

How to Change Portfolio Name on eFiling

How do I change my portfolio name on eFiling? Here's how to change your portfolio name.

How Are SARS Penalties Calculated? 

How Are SARS Penalties Calculated?