Please note that the following document, although believed to be correct at the time of issue, may not represent the current position of the CRA.
Prenez note que ce document, bien qu'exact au moment émis, peut ne pas représenter la position actuelle de l'ARC.
Please note that the following document, although believed to be correct at the time of issue, may not represent the current position of the CCRA.
Prenez note que ce document, bien qu'exact au moment émis, peut ne pas représenter la position actuelle de l'ADRC.
Principal Issues: Whether the cost of a hot tub that is used with a portable sling and lift qualifies as a medical expense for the purpose of the medical expense tax credit?
Reasons: A hot tub is not a prescribed medical device for the purposes of paragraph 118.2(2)(m) and Regulation 5700. The fact that it is used in conjunction with a prescribed device (i.e., "equipment designed to be used to assist an individual to enter or leave a bathtub") does not convert the cost of a hot tub into a medical expense.
Shaun Harkin, CMA
March 31, 2003
Re: Technical Interpretation Request: Medical Expense
This is in reply to your facsimile of February 10, 2003 wherein you ask whether the cost of a hot tub that is used with a portable sling and lift, to place a person suffering from multiple sclerosis into the hot tub for therapy, qualifies as a medical expense for purposes of the medical expense credit.
It is our long-standing position that the cost of a hot tub does not qualify as a medical expense for purposes of the medical expense credit. Subsection 118.2(2) of the Income Tax Act (the "Act") provides a list of expenditures that qualify as medical expenses. Under paragraph 118.2(2)(m) of the Act, a payment in respect of prescribed medical devices and equipment may qualify as a medical expense if certain conditions are met. Generally, to qualify, the device or equipment must be prescribed by a medical practitioner, included in the list of qualifying medical devices or equipment described in section 5700 of the Income Tax Regulations (the "Regulations") and meet such conditions as are applicable to its use or as to the reason for its acquisition. As a hot tub is not listed in section 5700 of the Regulations as a medical device or equipment, the cost of purchasing such a unit does not qualify as a medical expense under paragraph 118.2(2)(m) of the Act.
While the cost of "equipment designed to be used to assist an individual to enter or leave a bathtub" is a qualifying medical expense, the use of such equipment in conjunction with a hot tub does not convert the cost of the hot tub into a medical expense.
The foregoing comments represent our general views with respect to the subject matter. As indicated in paragraph 22 of Information Circular 70-6R5, the above comments do not constitute an income tax ruling and accordingly are not binding on the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. Our practice is to make this disclaimer in all instances in which we provide an opinion.
We regret our response could not be more favourable.
Daryl Boychuk, LL.B
Business and Partnerships Division
Income Tax Rulings Directorate
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