It’s tax time. Before you file, ask yourself if you may have missed an eligible deduction – costs incurred from having a prescription for medical cannabis. We’ve included a link at the bottom of this blog that takes you directly to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website where details regarding medical expense deductions can be found.
In summary the website states that individuals that have legal access to cannabis for medical purposes can claim expenses related to that provided those expenses meet certain criteria.
Those expenses must:
1) Be paid in the year that the return is being filed for (i.e. paid in 2017) and; have not been claimed in the previous year. This means that receipts from previous years are not eligible.
2) Be legal purchases under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes (ACMPR) or Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA).
3) Only expenses that will not be reimbursed by other means can be claimed. This means that if you have, for example, 80% reimbursement coverage through a health insurance provider, only the remaining 20% of the cost is an eligible expense. For those veterans that have 100% coverage through VAC/Blue Cross, no prescription costs are eligible.
Legal purchases are defined as purchases made by an individual that has authorization to possess or cultivate cannabis from Health Canada, and has made purchases from a licensed producer, or for their designated grower. CRA currently limits these expenses to cannabis products. This means dried flowers, seeds, and oils.
Purchases made from dispensaries, either storefronts or online, are not legal expenses.
If expenses were incurred on behalf of a spouse or dependant (i.e. your credit card was used for the legal purchasing of medical cannabis for your spouse or dependant) those expenses are legal and can be claimed.
A Form T2201 (Disability Tax Credit Certificate) is not required to claim medical cannabis expenses.
Spartan Wellness strongly recommends speaking to your tax preparer or financial professional on claiming medical cannabis expenses.
The Spartan Wellness Team
With Special Contributions by Emmanual Paul, CFO, Spartan Wellness