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Medical Costs Allowed by CRA -Cosmetic versus Non Cosmetic

Medical costs deduction in Canada since 2010 have not allowed for cosmetic procedures. The CRA had provided examples of expenses incurred for purely aesthetic purposes that will generally be ineligible for the Medical Expense Tax Credit (METC): These items are as follows;

  • augmentations (such as chin, cheek, lips);

  • body modifications (such as tongue splits);

  • body shaping, contouring or lifts (such as, body, breasts, buttocks, face, and stomach);

  • botulinum injections;

  • chemical peels;

  • implants (such as jewellery implanted into an eye or a tooth, or microdermal, transdermal, and subdermal cosmetic implants);

  • filler injections (for removal of wrinkles);

  • hair removal procedures;

  • hair replacement procedures;

  • laser treatments (skin resurfacing and removal of age spots);

  • liposuction;

  • reshaping procedures (such as rhinoplasty and otoplasty);

  • rib removal;

  • tattoo removal;

  • teeth whitening; and

  • tooth contouring and reshaping

Aesthetic procedures, some of which are listed above, may be eligible for the medical expense tax credit (METC) if they are necessary for medical or restorative purposes, such as surgery to correct a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or a disfiguring illness.


Furthermore, the following expenses are examples of what continue to qualify for the purposes of the Medical Expense Tax Credit (METC):

  • breast implant and related procedures for reconstructive purposes after a mastectomy;

  • breast reduction to reduce back and shoulder pain;

  • dental braces, if required to correct a misaligned bite;

  • dental veneers to correct decayed or misaligned teeth;

  • gastric bypass surgery or gastric stapling;

  • laser eye surgery; and

  • removal of excess skin after rapid weight loss due to a risk of infection.

Medical costs generally don't have GST or HST associated with the cost either. So if your dentist has charged you HST then that procedure is normally cosmetic and not allowed to be claimed as a general rule of thumb.


Please be mindful of what is cosmetic and what is not cosmetic when dealing with the Canada Revenue Agency.


Dated : September 6, 2021

Copyright © 2021 By Peter Wiesner CPA, CA

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