Medical Expenses

If you pay medical expenses that are not covered by the State or by private health insurance, you may claim tax relief on some of those expenses. These expenses include the costs involved in nursing home care. Tax relief is also available in Ireland for premiums paid for health insurance and for long-term care insurance. The insurance company grants this tax relief at source.

Who can you claim medical expenses for?

Since the 2007 tax year
You can claim tax relief on medical expenses you pay for yourself and on behalf of any other person. The limitations on who you can claim for no longer apply for claims for the 2007 tax year onwards.

Before the 2007 tax year
You can claim medical expenses incurred for:

You may also claim for any other person who is:

The definition of 'relative' in the context of health expenses is very wide. It includes for example a spouse, parent, child, brother, sister, brother and sister-in-law and, parents-in-law. The definition also includes any other child (of whom the claimant has custody).


Tax relief on private health insurance premiums will be limited to €1,000 for each adult and €500 for each child. This change applies to policies which are renewed or entered into on or after 16 October 2013. A child for the purposes of this provision includes a student over 18 years and under 23 years who is in full-time education. Relief will continue to be granted at 20%.

If you pay for certain medical expenses, you may be able to claim tax relief. This is the case if you cannot recover the expenses from any other source. You cannot claim tax relief for sums already received or due to be received from:

The medical expenses that attract tax relief are as follows:

The following, where prescribed by a doctor, qualify for medical expenses relief:

Where qualifying health care is only available outside Ireland, you can also claim reasonable travelling and accommodation expenses. In such cases the expenses of one person accompanying the patient may also be allowed where the condition of the patient requires it.
You cannot claim relief for the costs associated with cosmetic surgery, unless you need the surgery as a result of a congenital abnormality, personal injury or disease.
The list of treatments and appliances that attract tax relief is added to from time to time. If you are undergoing a new procedure or availing of a new appliance, it is worthwhile claiming tax relief. For more information, see the Revenue information leaflet IT 6 (see 'How to apply' below) which is also available from your local tax office.

Dental and Optical Treatment

You cannot get tax relief for routine ophthalmic and dental care. Routine ophthalmic treatment covers sight testing, provision and maintenance of glasses and contact lenses. Routine dental treatment covers extractions, scaling and filling of teeth and provision and repairing of artificial teeth and dentures.

The following dental treatments do qualify for tax relief:

Child oncology patients and children with permanent disabilities

In the case of children receiving treatment for cancer (that is, child oncology patients) and children with permanent disabilities, tax relief may be claimed on the following as health expenses:

            parents or guardians of the patient where such trips are shown to be essential                      
to the treatment of the child. There is a mileage allowance if you use a private              


For claims up to and including 2008, you can get tax relief on health expenses at your highest rate of income tax for the year of the claim. From January 2009, tax relief on medical and health expenses incurred from 1 January 2009 will be given at the standard rate of 20%. However, tax relief on nursing home expenses will continue at your highest rate of tax.


How to apply

You do not need to do anything about tax relief for health insurance or long-term care insurance because the credits are granted automatically at source (TRS). You must apply separately for medical expenses relief.  A MED 1 form is used to claim tax relief on all general medical expenses (including dental expenses). You can only claim for medical expenses if you have receipts to prove your claim. Do not send your medical receipts (this includes MED 2) with your MED 1 form. However, you must keep your medical receipts for six years because Revenue may investigate your claim.
A Med 2 form is a receipt to prove your dental expenses. Your dentist will normally have a supply of MED 2 forms and should complete it for you. You can request these forms by using your mobile by sending a text message to 51829. Text the word 'FORM' followed by your PPS number and either 'MED1' (or 'MED2', if you need to provide your dentist with the form). Relief is given by way of repayment at the end of the year. Since 1 January 2005, the time limit on claims for repayment of tax is four years. Additional information is available on You can also claim tax relief online. Contact information for all tax offices in Ireland is also available at the front of your telephone directory.