If you worked in any of these countries, you could be due a Tax Refund

A Guide to Claiming Tax Relief on IVF and Medical Expenses

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Here is the lowdown on what healthcare treatments and medical expenses you can claim tax relief on.

Have you claimed medical expenses recently?

Chances are you haven't. 

In fact, only 4 in 10 Irish people claim tax relief on the cost of their medical expenses each year.

Every taxpayer in Ireland can claim relief on certain medical expenses that aren't covered by either the State or health insurance.  

You get tax relief for health expenses at your standard rate of tax at 20% and nursing home expenses at your highest rate of tax up to 40%. 

For example, this amounts to a refund of €10 for every €50 GP visit.

You can also claim tax back as far as 4 years, so it’s easy to see why the average Irish tax refund with Taxback.com is €1,880

The average Irish tax refund is €1,880



Which medical expenses can I claim tax back on?

You can claim for a qualifying medical expense for yourself or someone else as long as you paid the bill. For example, if you paid for a GP visit for your brother or sister, you can claim on the cost. Just make sure you keep the receipts. 

Qualifying medical expenses include:

● Prescriptions from consultant, doctor or dentist for drugs and medicines

● Doctor and consultant fees

● Diagnostics carried out on the advice of a practitioner (a practitioner must be on either on the register established under section 43 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 or on the register established under section 26 of the Dentists' Act 1985.)

● Supply, maintenance or repair of a medical, surgical, dental or nursing appliance used on the advice of a practitioner

● Orthoptic treatment prescribed by a practitioner

● Ambulance transport

● In-Vitro Fertilisation

● Physiotherapy if referred to by a practitioner and treatment carried out by a chiropractor, osteopath or bonesetter

● Acupuncture carried out by a practitioner

● Psychological or psychiatric treatment if carried out by practitioner

● If you are blind you can claim the Blind Tax Credit

● Cost of a computer where a medical evidence is necessary to help a person with a severe disability to communicate

● Cost of gluten-free food for coeliacs. A letter from a doctor stating that the individual is a coeliac sufferer is acceptable

● Diabetic foods if you are diabetic

● Qualifying dental expenses

Note: You must keep receipts for gluten free food or diabetic products you claim relief for. These can be from supermarkets, health stores, chemists, etc.

You can't claim on the cost of cosmetic surgery, unless it's as a result of congenital abnormalities, personal injury or disease. 


The average Irish tax refund is €1,880



Can I claim tax back on IVF treatment?

With IVF costing as much as €5,000 per session, it can come as a relief to know that you can claim tax back at the standard rate of 20% on the cost. 

So for example if you pay for a session at €4,500, you can claim €900 back. 

You can't claim on any expenses you have already claimed for elsewhere, e.g. through insurance, compensation, etc.


What other fertility treatments are tax deductible?

You can also claim on the cost of any drugs that you need to use as part of the fertility treatment under the Drugs Payment Scheme.  If you avail of this scheme, you'll only have to pay up to €134 per month for approved prescribed drugs, medicines or rental costs for CPAP/oxygen.

Everyone ordinarily resident in Ireland without a Medical Card should have a Drugs Payment Scheme (DPS) Card and you must present your DPS card to your pharmacist each time items are being dispensed to you. 

You won’t pay more than €134 from January 1, 2018 for all your prescribed approved medication each calendar month.

To qualify, you must be ordinarily resident in Ireland and have a PPS number. There is no means test for the Drugs Payment Scheme. If you paid more than €134 in multiple pharmacies on prescribed drugs or approved appliances, then you can also apply for a refund here.


If I go abroad, can I claim tax back on fertility and other treatments outside of Ireland?

Yes you can also claim on the cost of fertility treatments if you have them abroad as long as it's given by a practitioner who is entitled to practice in that country (for example a licensed doctor or dentist).

You're only allowed to claim on the cost of treatment in a hospital, nursing home or clinic abroad that provides access to 24-hour nursing on-site. Typically you can't claim on the cost of travel if the same treatment is available in the Ireland. However, you can claim on the cost of travel for qualifying healthcare that's only available outside the state.

You can also claim on the travel costs of the accompanying person if the patient requires it (for example if the patient is your child and you need to travel with them).


The average Irish tax refund is €1,880



Can I claim tax back for past fertility treatments?

You can claim on the cost of fertility treatments from the past 4 years. So for example, in 2018 you can claim on the costs you incurred from 1st January 2014 - 31st December 2017.

Note: You will need to have receipts for these expenses.


Can I claim on the cost of health insurance?

If you're in an approved health insurance scheme, you’ll most likely get a tax credit automatically granted by the insurance company. This is known as Tax Relief at Source (TRS). However, sometimes this credit will not apply - for instance if your employer pays medical insurance on your behalf.

This is treated as a Benefit in Kind and PAYE, PRSI and USC are due on the total amount. This means you don't benefit from TRS and can make a claim with Revenue.


Can I claim tax back on dental expenses?

You can claim on the cost of non-routine dental expenses such as:

● Orthodontic treatment

● Crowns

● Veneers

● Tip replacing

● Gold posts

● Gold inlays

● Root canals

● Periodontal treatment

● Surgical extraction of impacted wisdom teeth when undertaken in hospital

● Bridgework


You should get a Med2 form from your dentist and keep it safe in your records.

You can also claim for non-routine dental performed outside of Ireland. To qualify for this relief, the dentist must be a qualified dentistry practitioner under that country's laws. The dentist should complete the Med 2 Form for your claim.

You can send us a copy when you apply for your tax refund to backup your claim.


Can I claim tax back on nursing home fees?

You can claim the tax relief whether you’re in the nursing home yourself or paying for another person to be there. You can claim tax back on the cost of nursing home fees at the highest rate of tax you pay.

In some cases, you can be granted relief on nursing home expenses during the tax year. 

You can also claim relief on the cost of paying someone to look after yourself or a family member. A family member can include a spouse, civil partner, child or a relative, including a relation by marriage or civil partnership.

If you or your family member requires home nursing you can claim tax relief (at your highest rate) on the lower of the following 2 amounts:

  • Actual cost incurred
  • Maximum deduction of €75,000


Can I claim tax back on laser eye surgery?

With the cost of such procedures ranging around €4,000 for two eyes, this is a welcome method of recovering funds! You can get tax relief on the cost of laser-eye surgery or Lasik at the standard rate of tax at 20%.


Can I claim tax relief for my sick child?

You can claim relief on additional expenses if the healthcare is for a qualifying child. The child must be under 18 years of age or if over, in fulltime education.

For example, you can claim relief on an assessment carried out by an educational psychologist and on the cost of speech and language therapy for a child by a qualified speech and language therapist.

If you maintain a qualifying child with a life threatening illness or a permanent disability, you can claim relief in addition to the normal health expenses you pay for the child. To qualify, the child must require constant or regular hospital care.

This can be regular hospital attendance or other supervision appropriate to serious illness or disability. Your child doesn’t need to be permanently in hospital for you to claim relief.

Child oncology (cancer) patients also qualify for this relief.


You can also claim on the cost of travel for the child and overnight accommodation and travel expenses for parents or guardians but the stay must be necessary for the child’s treatment and near the hospital.

You can’t claim relief for parking fees.

If your child needs to travel abroad for treatment that’s not available in Ireland, then you can claim on the cost of healthcare, reasonable accommodation, and travel expenses.

Flat rate relief is also available on telephone rental and call expenses if your child is treated in your home, but these expenses must relate directly to the child’s treatment.

The flat rate for telephone expenses is:

2017 €305
2016 €305
2015 €305
2014 €305


You can also claim on the cost of hygiene products or special clothing if required for treatment up to a maximum of €500.

However, you can't claim relief on childcare costs for siblings of the patient while the parents or guardians attend the hospital.

Kidney patients can claim additional relief, including on the cost of travel for dialysis treatment. There’s no limit on the amount of journeys you can claim for:

If travelling by private car, you can claim relief at these rates:

  • 2017 - €0.29 per mile or €0.18 per km
  • 2016 - €0.27 per mile or €0.17 per km
  • 2015 - €0.27 per mile or €0.17 per km
  • 2014 - €0.27 per mile or €0.17 per km 


If you use a dialysis machine at home, you can claim additional relief.

You can also claim flat rate relief for electricity, laundry, protective clothing, and telephone expenses.

Flat Rate Relief Rates


Electricity Telephone
2017 €1415 €305
2016 €1505 €305
2015 €1505 €305
2014 €1660 €305


Can I claim tax back on medical appliances?

You can claim tax relief on the cost of buying and maintaining medical appliances you use on the advice of a medical practitioner.

Qualifying appliances include:

  • Glucometer machines
  • Hearing aids
  • Orthopaedic beds/chairs
  • False eyes
  • Wigs
  • Exercise bicycles
  • Computers, if assisting communication for a person with a severe disability


Appliances that don’t qualify for relief include:

  • Cars for a disabled person
  • Construction work to facilitate illness or disability
  • Telephone installation or call costs


What receipts do I need?

You should keep receipts and records for all your qualifying medical expenses, e.g. GP visits, prescriptions, etc. If you want to claim dental expenses, you should ask your dentist for a Med 2 form.

When you claim tax back on your medical expenses with Taxback.com, you can send us these receipts to back up your claim. 


The average Irish tax refund is €1,880



How do I claim tax back on my medical expenses?

You can claim tax relief after the year in which the claim was made by applying with Taxback.com. For example you can claim for expenses you paid for in 2017 in 2018.

And don't forget you can claim up to 4 years back!

When you apply with Taxback.com, we'll give you a free, no-obligation tax refund estimate so you can find out how much you're owed from the last 4 years. If you decide to go ahead and proceed, the process is simple! You just send us receipts for your expenses and our friendly team will take it from there! And if you need updates, you'll have access to our online chat 24/7.

Find out how much you could claim by applying here.

About The Author

Ciara Kennedy - Digital Content Writer @ Taxback.com

Ciara is our Digital Content Writer at Taxback.com. Since graduating in Journalism and Visual media, Ciara has worked in online marketing in Ireland and Australia and loves writing in all its forms.

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