Posts Tagged ‘Disability & Tax’

Taxpayers with disabilities or who have disabled family members are probably not making full use of the tax deductions to which they are entitled.

A lack of knowledge by taxpayers and their tax practitioners is the reason taxpayers affected by disabilities are not claiming the tax deductions to which they are entitled.


There are three broad categories of disability-related expenses you can claim against your taxable income.

The three categories are:

* Medical scheme contributions;

* Un-recouped medical expenses; and

* Expenses you necessarily incur as a result of a disability. These expenses are the most complex and often result in the highest deductions.

The Income Tax Act defines a disability as a “moderate to severe limitation” of the ability to function or perform daily activities as a result of a physical, sensory, communicative, intellectual or mental impairment. This is interpreted to mean a significant restriction in your ability to function or perform one or more basic daily activities after maximum medical correction.

Your disability or that of a family member (including children) must either have lasted for more than a year or be expected to last for more than a year, and you must have been diagnosed by a registered medical practitioner (anyone registered with the Health Professions Council, including speech therapists, occupational therapists and psychologists).

The change in the definition means that taxpayers can claim for a much wider spectrum of disabilities than those of which you may typically think.

It is estimated that one in every 110 children has autism, many people suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and the treatment of severe depression and learning difficulties could be tax-deductible,

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has published a list of qualifying disability-related expenses, which, it says, is not exhaustive.

SARS simply provides some examples of expenditure that can be claimed, and many more substantial expenses have been claimed successfully.

The list includes aids and devices, such as hearing aids and insurance of hearing aids; orthopaedic or surgical equipment; wheelchairs and crutches; travel and related expenses; the cost of hiring a caregiver; remedial school fees; products required for incontinence; and the cost of modifications to assets.

While you cannot claim for an asset itself – for example, a motor vehicle – you can claim for the cost of modifying a vehicle to permit a person with a disability to gain access to it or to drive it.

Substantial capital expenses, such as those incurred in altering a home for a person in a wheelchair, nevertheless remain fully tax-deductible.Numbr4 Numbr3 Numbr Numbr 2

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