Your Taxes

Since which financial year was deduction for expenses incurred in respect of medical treatments or surgeries of specified ailments, permitted? Have deductions been permitted since April 2009? The ailments were open-heart surgery and treatment of breast cancer, prescribed by a specified specialist, for my late mother.

G Surendra

Deduction for expenses incurred on specified ailments or diseases was introduced in the Income Tax Act from FY 1996-97 under Section 80DDB.

This deduction is applicable only for resident individuals and their dependents for specified diseases such as malignant cancers, chronic renal failure, haematological disorders up to prescribed limits (please refer to the table below) as reduced by the amount reimbursed by any insurer or employer in the relevant financial year.

Open-heart surgery is not prescribed under this section for deduction. However, medical expenses incurred towards treatment for breast cancer can be claimed as a deduction.

As a prerequisite, prescription from a specialist medical practitioner having a Doctorate of Medicine (DM) degree or any equivalent degree which is recognised by the Medical Council of India, has to be obtained. In case of treatment in a government hospital, the prescription should be obtained from a full-time specialist with a post-graduate degree in medicine. The prescription should minimum contain the name and age of the patient, the name of the disease/ailment, the name, address, registration number and qualification of the specialist issuing the prescription, and the name and address of the government hospital (if applicable).

The writer is Partner, Deloitte India. Send your queries to taxtalk@thehindu.co.in

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