Tax breaks for infertility treatments broadened under new budget – CTV News

Many Canadians who have turned to assisted reproductive technologies over the past 10 years are now eligible for a retroactive tax break as a result of last weeks federal budget.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that the government is expanding access to a tax credit for Canadians who turn to reproductive technologies, so that both single women and same-sex couples can now qualify for the credit.

Previously, patients had to prove they were medically infertile before they could apply the Medical Expense Tax Credit to their infertility treatment costs. But this new measure will allow even more more patients to access the tax break, says Dr. Prati Sharma, an infertility specialist at the CReATe fertility centre in Toronto.

The breadth and depth of patients who could be covered by this tax break has certainly increased, she told CTVs Your Morning Tuesday.

The 15 per cent tax break will also apply retroactively for 10 years, meaning even those who underwent treatment in 2007 will be eligible to apply for the credit.

The federal government says the changes are really a clarification" of the current medical expenses tax laws, to ensure that same sex couples and single individuals have full access the credit.

Dr. Sharma says making the tax credit retroactive seems to signal that the government recognizes that infertility is a growing rising problem.

In the last decade, she says her clinic has seen a huge rise in the number of women coming in to do egg freezing, or to start families using third-party reproduction through sperm or egg donors. And she says lots of her patients are simply older and starting their families at a later age.

This has gone on for the last 10 years and will certainly increase going forward, so I think the government is recognizing that this is a growing problem and that some of the treatments are cost prohibitive, she said.

Fertility treatments costs can range from just a few thousand dollars a year for fertility drugs, to upwards of $15,000 for a cycle of IVF, or in vitro fertilization.

Funding for those treatments vary from province to province. From 2010 to 2015, Quebec helped couples fund up to three IVF treatments. But when the program ran well over budget and the number of families giving birth to twins, triplets and other multiples soared, the government ended the program last fall, replacing it with tax credits.

Ontario announced in 2015 it would fund part of the costs of one cycle of IVF to women under the age of 43, allowing them to implant only one embryo at a time. It too made the program open to same-sex couples and single people.

Ontario residents will be able to combine that funding along with the new federal tax credit announced last week.

Some have criticized the new federal tax credit, saying its unfair that all taxpayers will have to foot part of the bill for the fertility treatments of others. But Dr. Sharma says that given that one in eight couples suffers from infertility, its a problem that affects many Canadians.

I would say that every patient that I see, even my friends and colleagues, everyone knows someone who is suffering from infertility or requires these treatments, she said.

...And so its really toward the sense of the greater good that we help couples achieve families.

See the original post here:
Tax breaks for infertility treatments broadened under new budget - CTV News

Related Post

Comments are closed.