2018 tax return – can I deduct medical expenses?

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Dental and other medical expenses can quickly add up to several thousand francs. However, under certain conditions, these costs can be claimed on your tax return.

Comparis answers the most important questions on tax deductions with respect to health insurance premiums and other medical and dental costs.

Can I deduct my health insurance premiums from my taxable income?

Health insurance premiums are deducted indirectly based on a flat-rate deduction – which is never the full amount. Precisely how much you can claim is decided by each canton individually. For example, if you are married and employed, you can deduct a maximum of 4,800 francs in the canton of Berne, or a maximum of 5,200 francs in the canton of Zurich.

When can I deduct actual medical expenses from my taxable income?

You can also deduct actual medical expenses from your income. However, it is important to study the tax return guidelines for your canton carefully, as each one defines a threshold for when you can start claiming. In most cantons, it is 5 per cent of your net income. If the costs incurred are below this threshold, you cannot deduct anything. And you can only claim medical expenses for treatment that has been prescribed by a doctor. So if you choose to have an operation on your eyes for purely aesthetic reasons, you are solely responsible for the associated costs and cannot therefore claim them on your tax return.

Are dental costs tax-deductible?

If you have documented dental expenses that are not covered by any insurance, they can be claimed under the section “illness, accident and disability costs” in most cantons. As is the case for medical expenses, a threshold of 5 per cent of your net income usually applies, which is deducted from the invoice amount. Only anything above this amount is tax-deductible.

Why should I schedule any treatment in the first half of the year?

If the treatment has been prescribed by a doctor and therefore tax-deductible, it's a good idea to plan it carefully. Our tip: arrange any appointments, therapies or dental treatment in the first half of the year. This ensures that you will receive all the invoices in the same year, and the amounts will be billed based on your current coinsurance. Otherwise you risk losing the deduction.

Which documents do I need if I want to deduct premiums and medical expenses?

Don’t forget: to ensure you can actually claim premium payments and medical expenses, you will need a tax confirmation from your health insurance provider. Contact your health insurer if you haven't received your tax confirmation.

Is it possible to switch health insurance during the year?

Under certain circumstances, you can cancel your health insurance policy at the end of the first half of the year i.e. 30 June 2019. This is possible for all policyholders insured under the traditional model with the minimum deductible of 300 francs (zero francs for children).

However, note that the notice period is three months in this case, so your cancellation letter must be received by your current insurer by the end of March at the latest.

Create your cancellation letter in just a few steps.

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