Is there a deduction for medical expenses incurred for gastric bypass surgery?
17 April 2015
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
Author: SAIT Technical
Q: Does SARS
allows a tax deduction for gastric bypass surgery? The medical aid scheme did
not pay for the operation and does not show it on the tax certificate.
A: It is not
clear from the facts if the question relates to the 2015 year of assessment or
an earlier year. As you refer to a
deduction we assumed it relates to an earlier year of assessment. (The deduction has been replaced by the
section 6B rebate).
We accept that gastric bypass surgery refers to the surgical
procedure in which the stomach is divided into a small upper pouch and a much
larger lower "remnant" pouch and then the small intestine is
rearranged to connect to both. We can’t
comment on that.
Section 18 of the Income Tax Act defined what is commonly
referred to as ‘qualifying expenditure’.
The relevant part (section 18(1)(b)) reads as follows:
"...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—
(i) medical practitioner, dentist, optometrist, homeopath,
naturopath, osteopath, herbalist, physiotherapist, chiropractor or orthopaedist
for professional services rendered or medicines supplied to the taxpayer, his
or her spouse or his or her children, or any dependant of the taxpayer; or
(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; or
(iii) pharmacist for medicines supplied on the prescription
of any person mentioned in subparagraph (i) for the taxpayer, his or her spouse
or his or her children, or any dependant of the taxpayer;”
We don’t know what the expenses of the operation include,
but believe it would in the main fall within the above and would then be
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advice based on the facts and circumstances of each transaction/case. Even
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not accept any responsibility for consequences of decisions taken based on this
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