Written answers

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Department of Finance

Covid-19 Pandemic

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry, Fine Gael)
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171. To ask the Minister for Finance if expenditure on Covid-19 tests for health appointments can be claimed as a health expense under Med 1; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56755/21]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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I am advised by Revenue that Section 469 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides for tax relief in respect of qualifying health expenses.  Only “health expenses” incurred in the provision of “health care”, which has been carried out or advised by a “practitioner”, will qualify for tax relief.

Health care is defined as the “prevention, diagnosis, alleviation or treatment of an ailment, injury, infirmity, defect or disability, and includes care received by a woman in respect of a pregnancy”.

Health expenses are defined as “expenses in respect of the provision of health care” and includes:

(a) the services of a practitioner,

(b) diagnostic procedures carried out on the advice of a practitioner,

(c) maintenance or treatment necessarily incurred in connection with the services or procedures

referred to in paragraph (a) or (b),

(d) drugs or medicines supplied on the prescription of a practitioner,

(e) the supply, maintenance or repair of any medical, surgical, dental or nursing appliance used on

the advice of a practitioner,

(f) physiotherapy or similar treatment prescribed by a practitioner,

(g) orthoptic or similar treatment prescribed by a practitioner,

(h) transport by ambulance,

(i) educational psychological assessments carried out by an educational psychologist in certain

circumstances, or

(j) speech and language therapy carried out by a speech and language therapist in certain


A practitioner is defined as a person who is “(a) registered in the register established under section 43 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007, (b) registered in the register established under section 26 of the Dentists Act, 1985, or, (c) in relation to health care provided outside the State, entitled under the laws of the country in which the care is provided to practice medicine or dentistry there".

Where an individual incurs expenditure in obtaining a COVID-19 test, he or she will be entitled to make a claim for tax relief on that expense if the above criteria are met.

Further details in relation to income tax relief for health expenses are set out on the Revenue website and in Tax and Duty Manual Part 15-01-12, both of which may be found at the links below:

- Revenue website: www.revenue.ie/en/personal-tax-credits-reliefs-and-exemptions/health-and-age/health-expenses/index.aspx

- Tax and Duty Manual Part 15-01-12: www.revenue.ie/en/tax-professionals/tdm/income-tax-capital-gains-tax-corporation-tax/part-15/15-01-12.pdf.

The Deputy may also be interested to know that, in the context of the Finance Bill 2021, I am bringing forward a proposal to exempt from benefit-in-kind, subject to a number of conditions, expenses incurred by an employer in providing certain health and wellbeing related benefits to its employees, including expense incurred in providing a COVID-19 test.  If approved by the Oireachtas, the measure will have effect from 1 January 2021.


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