Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Questions (82)

Michael P. Kitt


82. Deputy Michael P. Kitt asked the Minister for Finance if he will clarify the issue of entitlement to tax relief on dental and-or medical expenses on services fully carried out outside the State; if he will confirm this is so; the reason it is allowed, as, in the case of dental services available here, it is putting Irish dentists at risk in their employment; if he will consider changes to same and make a distinction between medical dental treatments available in the State and others only available abroad; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45080/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

Relief in respect of health expenses is allowed in accordance with the provisions of section 469 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. In order to qualify for relief an individual must show that he or she has incurred “health expenses” for the provision of "health care". It is not the case that all expenses incurred on health care qualify for relief. For the purposes of section 469 "health care" is the prevention, diagnosis, alleviation or treatment of an ailment, injury, infirmity, defect or disability. Health expenses include the cost of treatment necessarily incurred in connection with the services of a medical practitioner.

Relief is allowed where a practitioner is either –

(a) registered in the register established under section 43 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007,

(b) registered in the register established under section 26 of the Dentists Act 1985, or

(c) in relation to health care provided outside the State, entitled under the laws of the country in which the care is provided to practice medicine or dentistry there.

The treaties governing the European Union guarantee the free movement of goods, capital, services and citizens within the EU's 28 member states and it is therefore not possible to place restrictions as to where individuals seek or avail of services. All claims for tax relief must be treated on a similar basis and relief granted regardless of where the services are provided. Relief for health expenses has been granted in respect of the services of a practitioner, entitled under the laws of the country in which the care is provided, to practise medicine or dentistry there, since the introduction of the tax relief in section 12 of the Finance Act 1967.

Question No. 83 answered with Question No. 81.