Write off medical marijuana, CRA says

Pay less tax thanks to this new deduction

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Medical marijuana is now on CRA’s list of eligible medical expenses.

The agency says a taxpayer can write off “the amount paid to Health Canada or a designated producer for a person authorized to possess or use the drug for medical purposes under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations or exempt under section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.” Medical expenses for a taxpayer, spouse or common-law partner, and his or her dependent children can be declared on Line 330 of the T1 tax return.

CBC reports that the Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association (CMCIA) wrote CRA earlier this year asking if prescribed medical pot would qualify as a deductible medical expense. “The CMCIA said it got a letter from the CRA dated Aug. 24 saying cannabis from a licensed producer qualifies,” reports CBC.

A CMCIA spokesperson told CBC the average per-patient cost of the drug is about $7.60 a day, or $2,774 per year, depending on dosage and type.

For 2014, CRA’s threshold for allowable medical expense deduction is 3% of a client’s net income or $2,171, whichever is less.

Other medical expenses that can be written off include:

  • gluten-free products, for clients who have celiac disease;
  • wigs, for clients who have suffered abnormal hair loss because of a disease, accident, or medical treatment (prescription required);
  • a portion of the cost of an air conditioner, for clients with severe chronic ailments, diseases, or disorders (prescription required); and
  • crutches.

This article first appeared on Advisor.ca.

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