Are Medical Alert Systems Tax Deductible in Canada?

Every senior citizen should have a medical alert system installed in their homes. However, not all can afford the cost of one. Most seniors are independent people living on a minimal retirement income or tight budget. They are always looking for ways to save money. Thus, getting a medical alert system would only incur extra expenses. Little wonders why this question is frequently being asked, are medical alert systems tax deductible? Perhaps you are a senior citizen staying in Canada, or you are a loved family member to one. You are thinking of getting an alert system. And you are probably wondering if this medical expense is tax-deductible.

Tax Deductible Medical Expenses

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), citizens may be able to deduct health care costs on the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of disease for themselves, their spouse, or a dependent. Therefore, it is best for you to know about the IRS list of eligible health care costs tax-deductible. This would come in handy when you want to pay your tax at the year’s end. In addition, the accumulation of such tax-deductible medical expenses can help you save some money. These medical expenses include:

  • Health insurance premiums.
  • Prescription medications cost.
  • Hearing aids, false teeth, eyeglasses, contacts, and wheelchairs.
  • Sensory disability communication aids.
  • Testing strips for blood glucose.
  • Medical fees paid to medical personnel.
  • Medically necessary equipment.
  • Home modifications cater to some medical conditions, such as expanding the doorway for easy wheelchair movement and bathroom renovations.
  • Transportation to medical appointments.
  • Medical information plans.

The list is non-exhaustive; therefore, you should check for more details on the IRS publications. Just like eligible medical expenses can be deducted from your adjusted gross income. Some costs cannot be removed, and they include

  • Personal response systems.
  • Athletic or fitness club fees.
  • Birth control devices.
  • Blood pressure monitors.
  • Diaper services.
  • Health plan premiums paid by an employer and not included in your income.
  • Vitamins and supplements.
  • Mobile applications for managing blood glucose levels.
  • Over-the-counter medications.
  • Organic food.

Do Medical Alert Systems Qualify as a Tax Deductible Medical Expense?

The answer to this question is difficult to answer. In the list of eligible medical expenses, medical alert systems were not explicitly included or stated. However, it is possible for these alert systems to fall under the tax-deductible category, depending on the circumstances. Such circumstances include:

  • Medical equipment prescribed by the doctor to take care of specific illnesses. Suppose your medical personnel recommend using a medical alert system in conditions like Parkinson’s disease. Then, in such instances, the medical alert system can be deducted from the adjusted gross income during tax payment.
  • Home renovations and installations to cater to some disease conditions. Suppose you have to install a medical alert system in your home because of a sickness, for instance, Parkinson’s disease. Then such expenses incurred can be deducted from the tax. This is different from a senior who decides they need an alert system not because of sickness but for extra security and safety.
  • Another circumstance where it’s possible to deduct medical alert system costs is when such systems perform the function of storing your medical and health information, to be provided on demand by some medical personnel. This falls under the category of medical information plans. For example, some medical alert systems are designed to store personal health details about their customers. For every phone call made, the operator gets and records the daily health details of that person. These details can be helpful to medical personnel. Therefore, if the alert system you purchased can do this, you can deduct such expenses from the tax.

Should You Claim a Medical Expense Deduction?

Suppose a tax professional advises that you can claim a medical expenses deduction for your medical alert system. In that case, you need to figure out if the deduction would impact the tax paid. You can only deduct the amount of your total medical and dental expenses that exceed 3% of your net income. For example, if you earn $70,000 as a net income. You can only deduct expenses over $2,100, meaning if your medical expenses are worth $3,000. You are only expected to pay $900. However, it is essential to note that the maximum amount you can claim for medical expenses deduction may differ depending on where you live. Thus, it is best to find out details before tax payment. And if you’re still in doubt, you can ask a tax professional.

How to Claim Medical Expenses Deductions

If you are certain that your medical expenses deductions would significantly impact the amount of tax you pay. Then you can claim eligible medical expenses on line 33099 and 33199 of your tax return. Line 33099 involves medical expenses incurred for yourself and your partner for that year. Also the medical expenses for your dependent children under 18 fall in this group. Line 33199 involves medical expenses incurred for other dependents such as children who were 18 or older at that year. Also any family relatives depending on you for medical care, such expenses are categorized in this group. Such relatives must be residents of Canada at any time in the year.

What If My Medical Alert System Is Not Tax Deductible?

Perhaps, you realize the medical alert system you bought doesn’t qualify for a deduction at the end of everything. However, that should not be a problem as many programs can help you recover some of the cost. Canadian Medicare is a decentralized, universal, publicly funded health system that provides insurance plans for all Canadian citizens and permanent residents. This Medicare advantage program can help reduce the cost of some medical alert systems, thus helping you save costs. You can also use funds from your medical savings account (MSA) or health savings account (HSA). This would help you save some costs. Moreover, tax laws are subject to changes. Therefore, you need to keep tabs on them to know the latest laws that work in your favour. You can also speak to a tax professional to help you understand better.


Canadians interested in installing a medical alert system may discover that these systems are not explicitly listed under the eligible medical expenses tax-deductible. However, there are ways in which a medical alert system cost can be deducted from your tax. Also, it is worth mentioning that some of these companies producing medical alert systems make affordable and quality systems. Thus, you don’t have to spend a lot on getting an alert system. Instead, you can check for brands that offer budget-friendly alert systems that suit your needs and budget.


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