Dáil Éireann - Volume 535 - 02 May, 2001
Written Answers - Tax Reliefs.
Mr. N. Ahern Mr. N. Ahern
157. Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for Finance if he will examine the situation in relation to expenses which fall on elderly people; if he will introduce tax relief; if such relief currently exists; if it could be deemed to qualify under a MED1 form for the annual maintenance charge on a stair lift or the annual maintenance charge on personal pendant monitoring alarms; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12478/01]
Mr. McCreevy Mr. McCreevy
Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): The position with regard to tax relief for medical expenses is that, under section 469 of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997, tax relief is available in respect of certain non-routine unreimbursable medical expenses in excess of £100 for a single person or £200 for a married couple or family, in a tax year. The relief is allowed at the taxpayer's marginal rate of tax.
Tax relief can be claimed on a MED1 form for the cost of the supply, maintenance or repair of any medical, surgical, dental or nursing appliance used on the advice of a practitioner. A practitioner is a person who is registered in the register established under section 26 of the Medical Practitioners Act, 1978, i.e. a medical doctor. If a practitioner advises that a patient requires, for medical reasons, an appliance such as a stair lift or a personal pendant monitoring alarm, tax relief may be claimed on the cost of supply and the annual maintenance charge of the appliance.
Most non-routine medical and dental expenses including such items as the cost of doctors' visits, maintenance or treatment in a hospital, transport by ambulance, specialised dental treatment and certain items prescribed by a doctor, qualify for relief. Routine dental and ophthalmic expenses do not, however, qualify.
The Value Added Tax (Refund of Tax) (No. 15) Order, 1981, administered by the Revenue Commissioners provides for refunds of VAT in respect of certain qualifying goods for use by disabled people. Under this order, it is possible to get a refund of VAT on the purchase of personal alarms by or on behalf of a disabled or elderly person normally used as medical alert systems and which are triggered by a pendant when worn by the person concerned. It may also be possible to obtain relief from VAT on a stair lift. Applicants should contact Revenue Commissioners, VAT Repayments (unregistered section), Kilrush Road, Ennis, County Clare.
Dáil Éireann 535 Written Answers Tax Reliefs.