Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Questions (56)

Michael McGrath

Question:

56. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance his views on removing the restriction in which tax relief is only available for physiotherapy sessions on the basis of a general practitioner referral; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38980/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

Tax relief in respect of health expenses is provided for in section 469 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. Health expenses is defined in that section as "expenses in respect of the provision of health care…including the services of a practitioner…".

A practitioner is defined in the section as "any person who is–

(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".

In the case of physiotherapy, relief can only be allowed in circumstances where the practitioner administering the therapy is a qualified practitioner as defined above, or if the treatment has been prescribed by a practitioner.

Treatment by a physiotherapist is dealt with in the same way as other treatments for health purposes in that to obtain relief the treatment must come within the terms of the section.

I do not intend changing the policy in relation to this matter at this time, but if the Deputy is aware of any unintended hardship that is being caused by this restriction I will arrange to give it due consideration.

Further details in relation to relief for health expenses are available on the Revenue website: https://www.revenue.ie/en/personal-tax-credits-reliefs-and-exemptions/health-and-age/health-expenses/what-are-qualifying-expenses.aspx