Health expenses

What are qualifying expenses?


To qualify for relief, your health care must be carried out, or advised, by a registered practitioner such as a doctor or a dentist.

You can check if a practitioner is registered by checking their registration through the Irish Medical Council or the Dental Council of Ireland.

Qualifying health expenses are for healthcare you have paid for. Examples of qualifying health expenses are payment for:

  • doctor’s and consultant’s services
  • routine and maternity care for women during pregnancy
  • diagnostic procedures recommended by a practitioner
  • services in hospitals or treatment facilities such as clinics, where the services are either:
    • provided by a practitioner
    • or
    • diagnostic procedures recommended by a practitioner
  • transport by ambulance
  • in-vitro fertilisation (IVF)
  • acupuncture (only where provided by a practitioner)
  • non-routine dental care
  • treatment from a psychologist or psychotherapist where either:
    • the psychologist or psychotherapist is a practitioner
    • or
    • you are referred for a diagnostic procedure by a practitioner
  • additional expenses of health care for a child:
    • suffering from a life-threatening illness or permanent disability
    • or
    • who needs speech and language therapy or educational psychological assessment
  • additional expenses for a kidney patient
  • nursing home and additional nursing care expenses.

You can also claim relief on the following if you are prescribed, referred or advised to, by a practitioner:

  • drugs and medicines
  • orthoptic or similar treatment (treatment for squints and eye movement disorders)
  • physiotherapy or similar treatment (such as a chiropractor, osteopath or bone setter)
  • podiatry or chiropody costs.
  • special diet expenses for coeliacs and diabetics
  • cost of purchasing, maintaining and repairing medical, surgical, dental or nursing appliances. This includes hearing aids.
    (There are conditions that apply to the purchase of these items. These are explained in Tax and Duty Manual 15-01-12).

Health expenses specifically excluded from relief

You cannot claim relief on:

  • routine dental care
  • routine ophthalmic (eye) care, such as eye tests
  • cosmetic surgery or procedures, such as rhinoplasty, breast augmentation or Botox treatment
    (Relief may be available where the surgery corrects a health issue, such as breathing difficulties. Contact your Revenue Office for further assistance)
  • guide and assistance dog costs (you can claim the Guide Dog Allowance or Assistance Dog Allowance).

Can you claim for health care received outside Ireland?

Yes. To qualify for relief, the medical practitioner must be registered under that country's laws to practice medicine or dentistry there.

If you travel abroad to receive health care that is not available in Ireland, you can also claim relief on:

  • reasonable accommodation and travel costs
  • the accommodation and travel costs of a person who accompanies you (if your condition requires it).

Next: Dental expenses