Ensure You Have All Your Medical Receipts

By Randall Orser | Budget

It’s the digital age, and the government is somewhat getting behind that by allowing us to electronically file our tax returns. However, with that Efile® comes the problem that Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) doesn’t get all your receipts and/or slips like it used to when we paper filed. The number of ‘reviews’ has increased considerably over the years, and one of the big ones CRA reviews is medical receipts.

CRA can do a pre-assessment review of your medical expenses where they ask for your medical receipts before they actually process your return. This usually happens when you have a large amount for medical expenses; that could be $5000 or up.

Then there’s the post-assessment review where they process your return as filed, however, later in the year when CRA has time, they’ll look at medical expenses. This happens when they either couldn’t get to your return pre-assessment, or the amount wasn’t at their threshold at that time.

Either way, you’ll get a letter from CRA outlining what they’re looking at and what they require. Something like this:

Dear Madam:                                                                                    

Re: Income Tax and Benefit Return for 2016

​Account Number         XXX XXX 264

Reference Number      TB1718 6045 7310

We regularly conduct review programs as an important part of the self-assessment tax system. To determine if we have assessed your return con-ectly, we need more information. Please note, if you claimed a provincial or territorial 11011-reftmdableta x credit that corresponds to the federal tax credit

under review, we will review both credits at the same time.

Medical expenses          Amount being reviewed $x,xxx.00


To support your claim for medical expenses for self, spouse or common-law partner, and your dependent children born in 1999 or later, and/or the allowable amount of medical expenses for other dependents, please provide the following information, as applicable:

all receipts, forms, and/or other supporting documents or medical certificates;

Receipts have to include the following information:

the name of the patient;

the type of service provided;

the amount and date of the payment for the services provided;

the name of the person who made the payment;

If submitting a pharmacy statement, it should also contain the name of the

controlled drug, preparation, substance, or the Drug Identification Number (DIN).

NOTE: Cancelled cheques and cheque images are not acceptable receipts.

a detailed statement from the insurance company confirming:

the name of the patient;

the date and the amount of the payment;

the name of the controlled drug, preparation;

the kind of medical, paramedical, and/or dental expenses;

the amount that has been or can be reimbursed.

  • indicate the 12-month period used. If a 12-month period is not indicated, we will use the calendar year.


Your letter may be different, depending on whether you filed with a disability tax credit or for a dependent. As long as you follow the instructions in the letter, you shouldn’t have any issues.

Ensure that you send the documents within the timeframe requested in the letter, normally it’s 30 days. Make sure that you write the reference number from this letter and your social insurance number on each page of the documents you send. And, keep a copy of everything that you send to as CRA only returns original documents (not photocopies or faxes). Plus, CRA is notorious for losing receipts, so it’s best to make a copy.

If you need more time to get the information they are asking for, please call the number on the letter. It’s best to phone CRA, as they’ll just disallow the medical expenses if you don’t.

You can send CRA your documents using My Account, and the Submit Documents feature. IMPORTANT: In order to make sure that your documents reach the Processing Review section, the reference number (no spaces) must be entered into the Case/Reference number box on the Submit documents page. For more information, go to "Submitting documents electronically". According to CRA it can take up to 10 business days for the documents to be received by the department requesting them.

If you’re not setup with My Account, then your best course of action is to mail them to the address on the letter. For example:

Mail: Tl Processing Review Section, Canada Revenue Agency, Post Office Box 1120 I, Station Main,

Surrey BC V3T OCl. We have enclosed a mailing label.

It is always prudent to keep all your slips, receipts, etc. for each tax year together, so if CRA ever does come calling you’re fully prepared for whatever they request.


About the Author

President/CEO Number Crunchers® Accounting Inc. Learn how to just say stuff it to this bookkeeping thing with our 'Just Say: "Stuff It" To Bookkeeping program.