How to Claim Medical Expenses From SARS

By Dave Nyam •  Updated: 02/04/24 •  6 min read

Claiming medical expenses on your tax return from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) can be a complicated process. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the different types of medical expenses you can claim and the specific criteria you must meet to claim them back successfully.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to claim medical expenses on your tax return from SARS, including which medical expenses you can claim, how much you can claim, and how to go about submitting your claim. Let’s dive in!

How to claim medical expenses from SARS

Claiming medical expenses on a tax return from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) is straightforward. However, it is essential to note that there are restrictions on what types of medical expenses you can claim. 

The first step is ensuring your medical expenses qualify for a tax deduction. Generally, SARS will only allow you to claim expenses related to medication, hospital bills, and specific specialist treatments. Additionally, you must have receipts or other proof of payment for all expenses to claim them on your tax return. 

The next milestone is to calculate the amount you can claim. SARS offers a medical tax credit based on the total amount of qualifying medical expenses you paid during the year. For 2024, this tax credit is equal to R347 per month.

What Medical Expenses Can I Claim Back From SARS?

The following medical expenses are eligible for tax relief from SARS:

How Much Can You Claim From SARS For Medical Expenses?

The amount you can claim from SARS for medical expenses depends on a few factors. Firstly, the total amount of your medical expenses must exceed 7.5% of your annual taxable income, known as the “threshold.” If your medical expenses exceed this threshold, you can claim the total amount from SARS.

In addition to this, you may also be eligible for the medical tax credit. The medical tax credit is a set amount deducted from your total tax bill – and is based on the number of dependents in your household. For 2024, the medical tax credit for a single person is R347 per month, R347 for the first dependent, and R234 for each additional dependent.

Lastly, it is essential to note that you will only be able to claim back from SARS for expenses paid out of pocket and not those covered by your medical aid. Therefore, this means that you will not be able to claim back any costs which were already covered by your medical aid. 

What Is The Medical Tax Credit For 2022?

The medical tax credit is a government-funded program that allows individuals to deduct medical expenses from their taxable income. The tax credit is calculated as a percentage of medical expenses incurred in the year and can be claimed on the taxpayer’s income tax return.

In South Africa, the medical tax credit is set at R347 per month, R347 for the first dependent, and R234 for each additional dependent.

The medical tax credit can be claimed for in and out-of-pocket medical expenses, including visits to the doctor, prescription drugs, hospital fees, and other medical costs. You can also claim a section of your monthly contributions to a registered medical aid scheme.

You are only eligible to claim the medical tax credit if you are an individual taxpayer and have medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your taxable income. 

Does SARS Refund Medical Expenses?

Yes, SARS will refund medical expenses incurred by taxpayers if they can prove that they have spent money on approved medical treatments. To be eligible for this refund, the taxpayer must have valid medical aid or other forms of health insurance.

Moreover, to be eligible to claim a refund from SARS, taxpayers must submit a detailed itemized list of their medical expenses along with supporting documentation, such as receipts and invoices. The medical expenses must be for approved medical treatments and cannot include any expenses for elective or cosmetic treatments. You must have paid the expenses within one year of the end of the tax year they are claimed. 

The amount you can claim from SARS is limited to 25% of qualifying medical expenses.

In addition, SARS has established a Medical Tax Credit (MTC) that allows taxpayers to claim back a percentage of the amount they spend on medical expenses. The MTC is calculated based on the taxpayer’s taxable income, their dependents, and the total amount spent on approved medical treatments.

To claim a refund from SARS for medical expenses, taxpayers must complete the Medical Tax Credit Form (ITC 02) and submit it along with all supporting documents. Once submitted, the refund will be processed and paid out by SARS in due course.

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

You can claim medical expenses from SARS if you don’t have medical aid. Depending on your financial situation and income level, several options are available.

You may be eligible for the Medical Tax Credit if you are a low-income earner. The MTC is a monthly credit that SARS pays directly into your bank account and can be used to clear the cost of qualifying medical expenses. To find out if you are eligible and what amount you can claim, contact SARS directly or speak to a qualified tax practitioner. 

You may also claim a deduction for certain medical expenses you have personally cleared. These expenses must be related to medical or surgical treatment or the provision of any apparatus, appliances, or services required due to a disability or chronic illness. You can submit proof of payment to SARS when filing your taxes, and they will consider this when determining your taxable income.

If you have dependents who don’t have medical aid, you may be able to claim additional deductions. This process includes claiming a deduction for any medical expenses paid for by you on behalf of a dependent relative. Again, proof of payment is required when filing your taxes.

Conclusion

Claiming medical expenses on your tax return from SARS is a great way to save money and reduce your taxable income. Knowing what medical expenses you can claim back from SARS, how much you can claim, and how the medical tax credit works will help you maximize your savings. It is also essential to understand if SARS refunds medical expenses and if you can claim them without having medical aid.

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