Claiming medical expenses for fertility treatments

Well, we knew it may be coming and we received it today: the notice that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is auditing our IVF medical expense claim.

You would think after 3 IUIs, 1 fresh IVF cycle, a pregnancy loss and a successful FET cycle that the Government would back off and stop sticking it to you to prove your infertility. :/

Couldn’t I just send this blog as proof? It’s got the whole timeline down, my list of meds, the dates we traveled – pretty much everything they need. If only… 

Fortunately, my love of information organization means that I’ve already got spreadsheets and file folders set up that document everything the CRA should be looking for.

Here’s what I recommend:

1. Ensure you know the requirements ahead of time 

There are always stipulations when dealing with the government. For example: You can only claim medical travel expenses if you have a doctor’s referral and the clinic is over a certain distance from your home.

Here’s some Canadian resources to review:

Also, don’t forget to check in with your health insurance provider to see if you have any fertility drug coverage!

2. Document everything 

I created a spreadsheet to document every receipt and expense for each procedure. My spreadsheet had a tab for each procedure (IUI, IVF, FET). Within each tab, I had a table that listed:

  • Date
  • Expense type (i.e. flight, accomodation, meals, drugs, medical procedure)
  • Dollar amount

This helps to create a timeline and also allows you to cross-reference your actual receipts to ensure nothing is missing.

3. Organize all the paperwork

I filed all electronic receipts in my email under a specific folder labelled “Fertility”. Everything went in here including all travel receipts (hotels/flights), test requisitions, and any communication with the clinic. The communication is key because it may help to prove why you had to take certain tests, travel or whatever else CRA may question you on.

I created file folders for each procedure and put each printed receipt in them. In each folder, I separated the expenses out by date/type. For example: IVF Prescriptions by Date. Once my spreadsheets were finished, I printed them out to accompany each folder.

4. Ask an expert

It also helps to have a good accountant. I found that even though ours has a great reputation, he wasn’t familiar with IVF expenses in particular. That being said, you are paying him the bucks to figure it out. If you really aren’t sure what to include, your account is there to help you.

5. Be prepared to be audited

It’s a well-known fact in Canada that most IVF patients who claim medical expenses get audited. Following my recommendations will save you some stress come income tax and audit time.

So now, I’ll be spending my Saturday morning putting together my audit package. I handed my medical expenses package over to my accountant at tax time. I just hope he returned it in the same order as I haven’t reviewed it since then. I think it would have been easier if they just requested all proof to be sent with our tax return.

I’ll let you know if any questions or additional documentation needs come up after the CRA reviews it.

Just another hurdle you face as someone who pursued fertility treatments. *sigh*


18 thoughts on “Claiming medical expenses for fertility treatments

  1. That’s interesting, I didn’t know that it was common for IVF expenses to be audited. Knock on wood I don’t hear anything from our friends at the CRA, but I have all of my documentation anyways, and mine is probably less complicated than yours as I did everything in my own city. Good luck with those tax-suckers!


  2. Well that’s crap. As if you haven’t had enough to deal with already! I hope it all goes well and that they don’t give you too hard of a time with everything!


  3. Yup, we got audited last year too for the same reason. All we claimed was the cost of the IUI and IVF procedures themselves, so it wasn’t a lot of receipts. I had already given them to the accountant, so when the CRA wanted to audit us, it was easy for him to send over the scans of our receipts and that was it! I’m glad you’re organized too. Hopefully it’s not more involved than what I had to go through.


  4. Great organization tips! I did the same thing spreadsheet wise, but I’m not sure I’ve been as good at keeping all of the paper items as organized in one place, I wonder if IVF auditing is as common in the US?


  5. We got audited by the CRA this year too, for the same reason. We’d submitted over $25K of expenses so I was not surprised. It was really easy though, but we were meticulous about keeping records.


  6. We stay organized too. We have a mortgage helper suite and were audited a few years ago, total pain! But as you say, being organized takes away from the worry.

    We didn’t travel, so am hoping we’re spared quality time with the CRA… If not, we’ll kill ’em with paperwork.


  7. Our accountant told us to expect to be audited for our medical expenses re Dr. B. But he also told us not to worry about it because he’ll handle it for us. If only it would be that easy.
    We haven’t heard anything yet, but if you are into it now, maybe ours is in the mail. Fun times….


  8. Ugh this is what I worry about. I’m not sure how it is in the States, but I’m trying to be really good about keeping tight records for when we file next year. Good job and that’s nice of you to share!


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