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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there, my wife and myself had gone through IVF procedures in 2019. It was too costly to afford in Canada, so we did the same at our parent's country (18hrs by flight).

We flew directly to the city of IVF facility and stayed in a rented a room for 2 months. Then we went to our parent's home; I returned to Canada after another 1 month, my wife stayed back with parents for another 4 months before she returned as IVF was successful.

I understand that we can claim the IVF expense as medical.

Questions are,

1. We file tax together in intuit. IVF claim go with my wife's medical or mine?

2. Can we claim our flight expenses for this out of country travel?

3. Is the room rent we paid for of 2 months claimable?


Thank a lot of reading. Any input is greatly appreciated.
 

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You can put the medical expenses under whoever's return you like. I am not sure if it makes a difference (I expect the tax software would automatically assign it wherever it has the biggest benefit) but you can try it under your name first and then under hers and see if it makes any difference.

You can't claim the flight or rent expenses because the same procedure was available to you locally:
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
You can't claim the flight or rent expenses because the same procedure was available to you locally:
Hi Spudd,

Thanks for the reply and adding the point.

Please note that in the above link, CRA's medical travel expense eligibility reads as below and they say all conditions must be met. Feels to discuss about this before I submit a claim on this.
  1. Substantially equivalent medical services were not available near your home.
  2. You took a reasonably direct travelling route.
  3. It is reasonable, under the circumstances, for you to have travelled to that place to get those medical services.
1. It was available near my home in Canada. We had been to the best facility here; after seeing the way they deal with the patients and going through the google reviews, we felt that the ivf center abroad (where we had treatment) was much greatly reliable. (We had been to the 'abroad ivf facility before 2 years just for an opinion). IVF center near us in Canada was not 'Substantially equivalent' for us.
2. That's right.
3. It was really reasonable. For just one course of treatment here in Canada, it costs more than double the amount of 2 courses that we had abroad.

3rd point 'if it is reasonable' is not going well with 1st point 'Substantially equivalent'. Substantially equivalent service was available near my home in Canada, but it was not reasonable. But if a person say 'service was available near his home', then there is no use of meeting the point 3 as per CRA, all 3 points must be met. I wonder how it can be!

If I claim our flight and accommodation expense and CRA wants that to be audited and they say flight things cannot be claimed, do I have to pay any penalty to CRA? or I just need to give them the difference of refund?
 

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Well, I'm not a tax expert, I was just reading the CRA's page and interpreting it to the best of my ability. If audited and found to be invalid, they will charge you interest from the original due date for your taxes. Assuming they don't think you were trying to defraud them then I don't think there would be a penalty aside from the interest.

Regarding the "substantially equivalent" question, my personal opinion is that if both clinics offer IVF then the services are substantially equivalent. I don't think the government cares about Google reviews. But I really don't know. The language used here is so vague.

You can phone CRA to ask for their opinion if you want, or you can claim it and wait to be audited. But be aware, it is common for them to audit medical expenses. If you submit your expenses and they disagree, they will disallow it and you will be on the hook for interest.

I googled around a bit more for you and found this which might be useful:
 

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I would have a hard time justifiying IVF in a foreign country.
'Substantially equivalent' refers to the procedure and quality, not the cost.
As mentioned above, you can be absolutely guaranteed to be audited for medical expenses.
We did IVF twice (Iocally) and claimed the expenses and got a letter both times asking for full receipts to be mailed in along with an explanation. They accepted all our claim.

The medical expenses go on the lower income spouse I believe, it's automatic through the tax software.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I'm not a tax expert, I was just reading the CRA's page and interpreting it to the best of my ability. If audited and found to be invalid, they will charge you interest from the original due date for your taxes. Assuming they don't think you were trying to defraud them then I don't think there would be a penalty aside from the interest.

Regarding the "substantially equivalent" question, my personal opinion is that if both clinics offer IVF then the services are substantially equivalent. I don't think the government cares about Google reviews. But I really don't know. The language used here is so vague.

You can phone CRA to ask for their opinion if you want, or you can claim it and wait to be audited. But be aware, it is common for them to audit medical expenses. If you submit your expenses and they disagree, they will disallow it and you will be on the hook for interest.

I googled around a bit more for you and found this which might be useful:
I'm going to try claiming the travel expense, ready to pay them back the refund+interest if they tell me. Appreciate your time to get me a document which is useful. Thanks :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I would have a hard time justifiying IVF in a foreign country.
'Substantially equivalent' refers to the procedure and quality, not the cost.
As mentioned above, you can be absolutely guaranteed to be audited for medical expenses.
We did IVF twice (Iocally) and claimed the expenses and got a letter both times asking for full receipts to be mailed in along with an explanation. They accepted all our claim.

The medical expenses go on the lower income spouse I believe, it's automatic through the tax software.
Thank you for your reply..

As I should expect the audit, was wondering if you send the receipts to cra via email or original copies through direct mail?? If it was a direct mail, do we get the originals back?
 

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Thank you for your reply..

As I should expect the audit, was wondering if you send the receipts to cra via email or original copies through direct mail?? If it was a direct mail, do we get the originals back?
Our last audit on this was for the 2018 tax year. If I recall, we mailed off paper receipts. I believe it was the originals and I made copies before hand. Then they returned them to us a few months afterwards.
 

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You can also submit scans of the receipts through the MyCRA portal online. I have done this for previous years.
 

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Our last audit on this was for the 2018 tax year. If I recall, we mailed off paper receipts. I believe it was the originals and I made copies before hand. Then they returned them to us a few months afterwards.
Hi, Thank you for the information . :)
 

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You can also submit scans of the receipts through the MyCRA portal online. I have done this for previous years.
CRA stopped accepting these last year, but I have their FAX number in Winnipeg and use FAXzero to send them in with a copy of their request and a cover letter. I do this from Mexico. I would call the author of their request letter and see if it is all right. Especially this year.
 
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