The Medical Expenses Offset (Rebate)

by Warren Kruger on April 19, 2008

With the costs of medical and dental care spiralling upwards, almost everyone will be entitled to claim a rebate for medical expenses in their next return coming up on 1 July. 

What you need to do just after June 30th.

  • Phone MediCare and ask to be sent an ANNUAL STATEMENT for everyone listed on your MediCare card;
  • Phone your Private Health Company (if you have private health, that is) and ask to be sent an ANNUAL STATEMENT;
  • Visit the Chemist/Pharmacy where you buy your PRESCRIBED medicines from and ask for a printout of all your purcahses for the period 1 July to 30 June;
  • Collect & collate any other receipts in respect of the Gaps you have paid for the services offered by any of the practitioners listed below.


A 20% offset/rebate is allowed for net medical expenses on the surplus over $1500 after deducting reimbursements paid (or payable by) a government, public authority, society or association.

In other words, it is the portion you pay yourself – the GAP.


A tax offset can be claimed for expenses PAID by a taxpayer in the
year of income in respect of :

  • the taxpayer him/herself
  • wife or husband (or de facto spouse)
  • any child of the taxpayer to 21st birthday regardless of the child’s income


Medical expenses are defined are defined as the net amount of payments (after deducting reimbursements received or receivable from MediCare or Private Health Fund) –

  • to a legally qualified medical practitioner, nurse or chemist, or a public or private hospital, in respect of an illness or operation;
  • to a legally qualified dentist for dental services or treatment of artificial teeth;
  • to a person registered under a law of a State or Territory for the supply, alteration or repair of artificial teeth;
  • for therapeutic treatment administered by referral from legally qualified medical practitioners, eg physiotherapist, speech therapist;
  • for the purchase or repair of an artificial limb, an artificial eye or hearing aid;
  • for the purchase or repair of medical aids prescribed by legally qualified medical practitioners;
  • for the testing of eyes, or the prescribing of any spectacles by a person legally qualified to perform those services, or for the supply or repair of spectacles in accordance with such a
  • to a person who looks after someone who is blind, or confined to bed or a wheelchair;
  • to keep a trained guide dog for a blind person;
  • to keep a trained dog to assist or guide the hearing impaired or other disabled individuals;
  • certain payments made to nursing homes or hostels by individuals needing a particular level of personal or nursing care.


About The Author

Warren Kruger is an Australian Tax Specialist and Advisor.

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{ 1 comment }

dominique philip April 27, 2008 at 8:52 am

Dear Warren,

I enjoyed reading your newsletter.

Two things,

Could you send me the newletter to my home e-mail (as per above)?

Also, I had an operation in November to remove varicous veins. Because of my job, where I stand for long periods of time, the surgeon recommended that I wear compression pantyhose. They cost $125.00 a pair. Can I claim these pantyhose as a tax deduction? I don’t wear them in my free time, as I can seat down when it suits me.

Looking forward to your reply.



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