The good news…
it’s the first day of spring.
The bad news…
“In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes,” posited Benjamin Franklin in 1789. His assumption holds true 228 years later!
There is, however, a silver lining, and its name is Line 330.
When it comes to taxes, there are a few things you can write off that you may not know about. For instance, if you have been diagnosed with celiac disease, you can write of the difference between ‘normal’ foods and gluten free foods. More to our point, if you have a medical cannabis prescription, the CRA allows you to claim money spent on cannabis as a medical expense. To qualify, you must have a receipt, and the purchase must be made through a Health Canada certified licensed producer.
As it stands, you may also claim the cost of cannabis seeds obtained from Licensed Producers, but may not claim any costs related to growing including lights, containers, fertilizers and other items.
As far as vaporizers, there are two currently recognized medical devices observed by Health Canada and backed by the Canadian College of Physicians and Surgeons: The Volcano Medic, which NHS sells for $745.99, and the portable Mighty Medic which we sell for $509.99.
Here are the steps to claim medical cannabis as a medical expense…
On line 330 of Schedule 1, Federal Tax, enter the total amount that you, or your spouse or common-law partner paid in 2016 for eligible medical expenses.
On the line below line 330, enter whichever is less:
- 3% of your net income (line 236)
Subtract the amount of step 2 from the amount on line 330, and enter the result on the following line of Schedule 1.
Claim the corresponding provincial or territorial non-refundable tax credit on line 5868 of your provincial or territorial Form 428.
For example, your prescription may be $8 a day, meaning a full year’s prescription could cost $2,920. The cost of the drug can be lower or higher, depending on dosage and type.
Again, you can claim medical expenses paid for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner and certain related persons. Total eligible medical expenses must first be reduced by 3% of your net income or $2,237, whichever is less. The tax credit is 15% of the amount remaining.
Compare the amount you can claim with the amount your spouse or common-law partner would be able to claim. It may be better for the spouse or common-law partner with the lower net income (line 236) to claim the eligible medical expenses.
Many company health-spending accounts will honour receipts from licensed producers, so check with yours if you have one.
The tax credit helps, but we look forward to the day when health insurance companies recognize cannabis as a prescription drug like any other.
Happy filing, and as always, feel free to email our team at email@example.com and/or join us Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 8 pm LIVE online at www.naturalhealthservices.ca/events for a short presentation followed by an open Q and A period, where you may type in your questions. If you are in Calgary or Edmonton, join us at our education centers at that time. Hosting switches back and forth between the two cities. Check us out on Facebook (Natural Health Services) to see which city is hosting and come say ‘hi!’.