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.
Principal Issues: Whether a battery powered two-wheeled bicycle qualifies as a medical expense under subsection 118.2(2)..
Reasons: It cannot be considered a wheelchair (i.e, the type of "scooter" contemplated in paragraph 37 of IT-519R2(consolidated). It is also not a device or equipment that is prescribed in Part 5700 of the Regulations.
November 6, 2009
Dear XXXXXXXXXX :
Re: Battery powered bicycle as medical expense
This is in response to your email of May 19, 2009 inquiring as to whether a battery powered bicycle may qualify as an eligible medical expense. The bicycle is a two-wheeled bicycle and its operation does not require a license or insurance. You indicate that since you suffer from epileptic seizures, it is your only means of independent motorized travel.
Written confirmation of the tax implications inherent in particular transactions is given by this Directorate only where the transactions are proposed and are the subject matter of a request for an advance income tax ruling submitted in the manner set out in Information Circular 70-6R5, "Advanced Income Tax Rulings", dated May 17, 2002. This Information Circular as well as Interpretation Bulletin IT-519R2 (Consolidated), "Medical Expense and Disability Tax Credits and Attendant Care Expense Deduction", ("IT-519R2") can be accessed on the internet at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca. However, we are prepared to provide the following comments.
Medical expenses which are eligible for the medical expense tax credit ("METC") are limited to those described in subsection 118.2(2) of the Income Tax Act (the "Act"). If a particular expenditure is not described as an eligible medical expense in subsection 118.2(2) of the Act, or if the conditions under which the expenditure would qualify are not met, the expenditure does not qualify for purposes of the METC, even though the expenditure was incurred for medical reasons.
Paragraph 118.2(2)(i) of the Act describes certain medical devices, including a wheelchair, for a patient. As indicated in paragraph 37 of IT-519R2, the term "wheelchair" may include scooters and wheel-mounted geriatric chairs. It is our position that the ordinary meaning of the term "wheelchair" does not include a battery powered bicycle. It is also our view there is no other provision under subsection 118.2(2) of the Act which would qualify a bicycle, or other adaptations to a bicycle , as an eligible medical expense for the purpose of the METC.
We hope our comments will be of assistance to you.
Business and Partnerships Division
Income Tax Rulings Directorate
Legislative Policy and Regulatory Affairs Branch
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