All About Disability And Medical Expense Tax Credits

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Annually, taxpayers in South Africa submit tax returns to the country’s revenue service. Some taxpayers may qualify to claim expenses and be reimbursed a percentage of money they previously spent.

 


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The South African Revenue Service (SARS) administers the country's tax system and enforces compliance with related legislation. They also issue refunds to taxpayers who paid too much tax during the year or if a taxpayer submits evidence of tax-deductible expenses.

Taxpayers can also submit claims for any additional medical and disability expenses. However, they will need to meet specific criteria in order for their claim to be approved.

What Is Considered A Disability By SARS?

Disability according to SARS is a moderate to severe limitation of any person's ability to function and perform daily activities.

This limitation must be as a result of a physical sensory, communication, intellectual or mental impairment if the limitation has lasted or has a prognosis of lasting more than a year and is diagnosed by a duly registered medical practitioner in accordance with the criteria prescribed by the commissioner. 

A disability must be confirmed by a registered medical practitioner who is qualified to express an opinion on the disability.

Documents Needed To Claim Out-Of-Pocket Disability Expenses:

  • A certificate from your medical aid stating the contributions you made and the amounts that were not covered by the medical aid 
  • Confirmation of Diagnosis of Disability form” (ITR-DD form)
  •  Proof of payment of this out-of-pocket medical expense (SARS may request this)
  •  Prepared schedule of the out-of-pocket expenses which includes the date on which the payment was made, to whom the payment was made, a short description of the goods or services rendered, the person to whom the goods/services were rendered and the amount paid for it.

SARS added that if you paid an expense upfront and your medical aid reimburse you, that portion of the expense remedies are no longer an out-of-pocket expense.

What Is Considered A Qualifying Medical Expense By SARS?

A Qualifying Medical Expense according to SARS is any amount which was paid by a person during the year of assessment to any duly registered medical practitioner. This could be for servers or medicines supplied to the person or any of their dependents.

These medical practitioners include dentists, optometrists, homoeopaths, naturopaths, herbalists, physiotherapists, chiropractor or orthopaedists.

Qualified medical expenses tax credits can also be received on over-the-counter medicines/vitamins that are supplied by a pharmacist on the prescription.

Documents Needed To Claim Out-Of-Pocket Medical Expenses:

  • A certificate from your medical aid stating the contributions you made and the amounts that were not covered by the medical aid 
  • Proof of payment of this out-of-pocket medical expense (SARS may request this)
  • Prepared schedule of the out-of-pocket expenses which includes the date on which the payment was made, to whom the payment was made, a short description of the goods or services rendered, the person to whom the goods/services were rendered and the amount paid for it.

The current tax season will end on  24 October 2022 by which taxpayers are required to submit their tax returns. SARS added that refunds can take longer than 72 hours which was previously communicated to taxpayers.

 

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