Can You Write Off The Cost Of Dental Work On Your Income Tax Return?

If you file a Canadian tax return, you are allowed to claim a medical tax credit for qualifying medical expenses that exceed a certain percentage of your income. There are range of medical expenses you can include, including some dental expenses. Wondering if you can write off your dental expenses? Here's what you need to know: 

1. Necessary dental expenses are deductible.

If you incur bills for necessary dental expenses, in most cases, you can include those bills when filing your tax return. In particular, the list of eligible dental work includes preventative care, fillings, root canals and similar services.

2. Purely cosmetic procedures cannot be included with the medical expenses tax credit.

Unfortunately, the Canada Revenue Agency does not allow you to include cosmetic work when you are calculating your medical expenses tax credit. This ban specifically applies to teeth whitening, but it applies to other purely cosmetic dental procedures as well.

For example, if you have your teeth shaved just for cosmetic reasons, you likely cannot include that cost when factoring your medical expenses tax credit. However, if you have your teeth shaved to address specific issues with your bite, that may be a considered a necessary and deductible procedure.

3. Not all cosmetic dentistry is for purely cosmetic purposes.

Cosmetic dentists specialize in procedures that make your smile look more beautiful, but these procedures aren't necessarily purely cosmetic. In some cases, they are both cosmetic and necessary.

For example, cosmetic dentists help their patients with dentures, bridges and other solutions for missing teeth. In many cases, this is not about vanity. Instead, it's about helping the patient to chew or talk properly.

Because of that, you can typically write off these types of bills from a cosmetic dentist when completing your tax return. In fact, the Canada Revenue Agency specifically identifies dentures and dental implants as qualified procedures for the purposes of the medical expenses tax credit.

4. Traveling costs can be considered medical expenses.

If you have to travel to receive medical or dental care, you can also include the cost of your travel expenses when calculating your medical expense tax credit. For example, if you need a cosmetic dentist to fit you for dentures, but there are no cosmetic dentists in your area, you can write off the cost of train tickets or gas, and if you travel more than 80 km to reach a cosmetic dentist for necessary dental work, you can write off the cost of your accommodations and some meals.

For further assistance, contact a local dental office, such as Willow West Dental Office Crowns & Bridges.