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INCOME TAX ASSESSMENT ACT 1936 - SECT 159P

Rebate for medical expenses

Phase-out of rebate for medical expenses

          (1A)  A taxpayer is not entitled to a rebate of tax under this section in respect of the 2019-20 year of income or a later year of income.

          (1B)  For the 2013-14 to 2018-19 years of income, an amount that would otherwise be paid as medical expenses is treated as not being paid as medical expenses unless the payment:

                     (a)  relates to an aid for a person with a disability; or

                     (b)  relates to services rendered by a person as an attendant of a person with a disability; or

                     (c)  relates to care provided by an approved provider (within the meaning of the Aged Care Act 1997 ) of a person who:

                              (i)  is approved as a care recipient under that Act; or

                             (ii)  is a continuing care recipient within the meaning of that Act.

          (1C)  However, subsection (1B) does not apply to amounts paid in a year of income as medical expenses in respect of a taxpayer:

                     (a)  for the 2013-14 year of income--if the taxpayer's assessment for the 2012-13 year of income included an amount of rebate under this section that was greater than nil; and

                     (b)  for the 2014-15 year of income--if the taxpayer's assessment for both the 2012-13 and 2013-14 years of income included an amount of rebate under this section that was greater than nil.

          (1D)  Subsection (1B) also does not apply in working out a rebate of tax to which the trustee of a trust estate is entitled in respect of amounts paid in a year of income as medical expenses in respect of a beneficiary:

                     (a)  for the 2013-14 year of income--if the trustee's assessment for the 2012-13 year of income included an amount of rebate under this section in respect of the beneficiary that was greater than nil; and

                     (b)  for the 2014-15 year of income--if the trustee's assessment for both the 2012-13 and 2013-14 years of income included an amount of rebate under this section in respect of the beneficiary that was greater than nil.

Definition of rebatable medical expense amount

             (1)  An amount paid by the taxpayer in the year of income as medical expenses in respect of himself or herself, or in respect of a dependant who is a resident, less any amount paid to the taxpayer or any other person, and any amount which the taxpayer or any other person is entitled to be paid, in respect of those medical expenses by a government or public authority or by a society, association or fund (whether incorporated or not) is a rebatable medical expense amount in respect of that year of income.

             (3)  Where an amount is paid in the year of income by the trustee of a trust estate out of income of the trust estate as medical expenses in respect of a beneficiary who is a resident, that amount, less the sum of any amounts that have been paid to the trustee or any other person or that the trustee or any other person is entitled to be paid, in respect of those medical expenses by a government or public authority, or by a society, association or fund (whether incorporated or not) is a rebatable medical expense amount :

                     (a)  where the trustee is liable to be assessed under section 98 in respect of income of the year of income to which that beneficiary is presently entitled--in the assessment of the trustee in respect of that income; and

                     (b)  where that beneficiary is liable to be assessed in respect of any income of the year of income--in the assessment of that beneficiary in respect of that income.

Rebate

          (3A)  A taxpayer is entitled to a rebate of tax in the taxpayer's assessment in respect of income of a year of income if one or more rebatable medical expense amounts are applicable to the taxpayer in respect of the year.

       (3AA)  The amount of the rebate is:

                     (a)  if the medical expense rebate higher phase-in limit applies--10% of the amount by which the total of the rebatable medical expense amounts exceeds the medical expense rebate higher phase-in limit; or

                     (b)  otherwise--20% of the amount by which the total of the rebatable medical expense amounts exceeds the medical expense rebate lower phase-in limit.

Note:          For the phase-in limits, see section 159Q.

          (3B)  Where the trustee of the estate of a deceased person pays an amount as medical expenses in respect of a liability incurred by the deceased person in the deceased person's lifetime, being an amount that would have been a rebatable medical expense amount if it had been paid by the deceased person during the deceased person's lifetime, there shall be allowed, in the assessment of the trustee upon the assessable income derived by the deceased person during the year of income in which the deceased person died, a rebate of tax equal to the rebate that would have been allowable to the deceased person under this section in respect of that amount if it had been paid by the deceased person during the year of income in which the deceased person died.

Other definitions

             (4)  In this section:

"dependant " means:

                     (a)  the spouse of the taxpayer; or

                     (b)  a child of the taxpayer less than 21 years of age; or

                     (e)  a person in respect of whom the taxpayer is entitled to a tax offset under Subdivision 61-A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 ; or

                      (f)  a person in respect of whom the taxpayer would be entitled to a tax offset under Subdivision 61-A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 but for section 61-20 of that Act; or

                     (g)  a person in respect of whom the taxpayer is entitled to a notional tax offset under Subdivision 961-A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 .

"ineligible medical expenses " means payments:

                     (a)  to a legally qualified medical practitioner, nurse or chemist, or a public or private hospital, in respect of a cosmetic operation that is not a professional service for which a medicare benefit is payable under Part II of the Health Insurance Act 1973 ; or

                     (b)  to a legally qualified dentist for:

                              (i)  dental services; or

                             (ii)  treatment;

                            that is solely cosmetic.

"medical expenses " means payments:

                     (a)  to a legally qualified medical practitioner, nurse or chemist, or a public or private hospital, in respect of an illness or operation; or

                     (b)  to a legally qualified dentist for dental services or treatment or the supply, alteration or repair of artificial teeth; or

                     (c)  to a person registered under a law of a State or Territory as a dental mechanic in respect of charges lawfully made by that person for the supply, alteration or repair of artificial teeth; or

                     (d)  for therapeutic treatment administered by direction of a legally qualified medical practitioner; or

                     (e)  in respect of an artificial limb (or part of a limb), artificial eye or hearing aid; or

                      (f)  in respect of a medical or surgical appliance (not otherwise specified in this definition) prescribed by a legally qualified medical practitioner; or

                     (g)  for:

                              (i)  the testing of eyes or the prescribing of spectacles or contact lenses by a person legally qualified to perform those services; or

                             (ii)  the supply of spectacles or contact lenses in accordance with any such prescription; or

                     (h)  as remuneration of a person for services rendered by him or her as an attendant of a person who is blind or permanently confined to a bed or an invalid chair; or

                      (i)  for the maintenance of a dog used for the guidance or assistance of, but not social therapy for, a person with a disability, being a dog that the Commissioner is satisfied is properly trained in the guidance or assistance of persons with disabilities;

but does not include ineligible medical expenses.

"professional service " has the meaning given by subsection 3(1) of the Health Insurance Act 1973 .

             (5)  For the purposes of the definitions of ineligible medical expenses and medical expenses in subsection (4), a payment made to an employer (not being a public or private hospital) of a person (in this subsection referred to as the relevant person ) who is a legally qualified medical practitioner, nurse or chemist in respect of the provision of services or treatment, or the supply of goods, by the relevant person shall be taken to be a payment made to the relevant person in respect of the provision of those services or that treatment or in respect of the supply of those goods.

             (6)  For the purposes of the definitions of ineligible medical expenses and medical expenses in subsection (4), a payment made to an employer of a legally qualified dentist in respect of the provision of dental services or treatment, or the supply, alteration or repair of artificial teeth, by the dentist shall be taken to be a payment made to the dentist in respect of the provision of those services or that treatment or in respect of the supply, alteration or repair of those artificial teeth.

             (7)  For the purposes of paragraph (c) of the definition of medical expenses in subsection (4), a payment made to an employer of a person registered under a law of a State or Territory as a dental mechanic in respect of charges lawfully made by the employer in respect of the supply, alteration or repair of artificial teeth by the dental mechanic shall be taken to be a payment made to the dental mechanic in respect of charges lawfully made by the dental mechanic for the supply, alteration or repair of those artificial teeth.

             (8)  A reference in subsection (5), (6) or (7) to an employer of a legally qualified medical practitioner, nurse or chemist, a legally qualified dentist or a person registered under a law of a State or Territory as a dental mechanic shall be read as including a reference to a person with whom the medical practitioner, nurse, chemist, dentist or dental mechanic has entered into a contract for services.



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