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Can you claim the living costs at a frail care centre as a medical deduction?

23 March 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
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Author: SAIT Technical

Q: When you go to a frail care centre (when you are to old to look after yourself), can you claim a ‘medical’ deduction on the cost to stay there?

My view is that if SARS allow physically impaired individuals to claim their caring cost, then the same should apply to old people that are looked after and hospices.

A: Sec 18(1)(b) of the Income Tax Act (No. 58 of 1962) (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Act’), before its deletion, provided a deduction for the following:

‘any amounts (other than amounts recoverable by the taxpayer or his or her spouse) which were paid by the taxpayer during the year of assessment to any duly registered...

(ii) nursing home or hospital or any duly registered or enrolled nurse, midwife or nursing assistant (or to any nursing agency in respect of the services of such a nurse, midwife or nursing assistant) in respect of the illness or confinement of the taxpayer, his or her spouse or his or her children, or any dependant of the taxpayer...’ (own emphasis added).

Therefore, sec 18(1)(b) provides for a deduction, provided that the amounts were paid to a registered nursing home in respect of the ‘illness or confinement’ of the taxpayer, his spouse, children or dependants.

Conclusion

Should the expenses not be paid to a duly registered nursing home for the ‘confinement or illness’ of a taxpayer, his/her spouse, children or dependants, no deduction will be allowed in terms of sec 18(1). Therefore normal frail care costs would not rank as a medical deduction unless it is paid for the confinement or illness in respect of one of the above individuals to a duly registered nursing home.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this query and answer should be construed as constituting tax advice or a tax opinion. An expert should be consulted for advice based on the facts and circumstances of each transaction/case. Even though great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the answer, SAIT do not accept any responsibility for consequences of decisions taken based on this query and answer. It remains your own responsibility to consult the relevant primary resources when taking a decision.


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