IBM Japan Health Insurance Association

IBM Japan Health Insurance Association

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Medical expenses deductions

Medical expenses deductions are part of a system whereby if the amount of medical care costs paid in one year, including those of family members, exceeds a certain standard, you can file a final tax return with the tax office to have the excess amount of medical care costs deducted from your taxable income and have some of your taxes refunded.

Check with your nearest tax office for details, including how to conduct the necessary procedures. Information is also available on the National Tax Agency website.

National Tax Agency website: http://www.nta.go.jp
In addition to finding out how to file for medical expenses deductions, you can also go to this website to prepare your final tax return and other documents.

How are medical expenses deductions calculated?

When is the filing period for final tax returns?

The filing period for a final tax return is the one-month period from February 16 through March 15. However, if you earn salary income, you can apply for reimbursement of medical expenses deductions or other amounts from January.

What documents are needed to file a final tax return?

The documents and other items needed include the final tax return form which can be prepared at the National Tax Agency website, your certificate of income and withholding tax, your official seal, your deposit passbook of the account where you would like to receive your reimbursement, and your Social Security and Tax Number card (if you do not have a Social Security and Tax Number card, a document that can be used to verify your Social Security and Tax Number and personal identification).

Previously, you needed to attach or present receipts for medical care costs or medicinal costs to claim medical expenses deductions (including those under the self-medication tax system). Starting with income tax returns filed for 2017 income, you must attach medical expense deduction details instead. You also can use medical care cost information issued by health insurance societies and similar parties as details of medical care costs.**
In addition, while you must retain receipts for medical care costs and other costs associated with your income tax return for five years from the deadline for filing the tax return or other applicable date, if the attached medical care cost information meets certain requirements, you no longer need to retain the receipts for medical care costs and other costs attested in the medical care cost information.

  • ** This applies when filing your income tax return for 2017 and later on or after January 1, 2018. (As a transitional measure, you may also attach or present receipts instead of medical care cost details for the years 2017-2019.)

Examples of costs eligible for medical expenses deductions

  • Costs of treatment paid to a medical care institution
  • Cost of purchase of drugs for treatment
  • Costs of going to the hospital, house-call costs
  • Share of inpatient meal and living expenses you paid
  • Costs of dental care not covered by insurance
  • Costs of medical consultations from pregnancy through after childbirth and childbirth expenses
  • Costs of massage, acupressure therapy, acupuncture, and moxibustion
  • Costs of purchase of artificial arms, artificial legs, etc.
  • Costs of adult diapers for a person bedridden for six months or longer, with a certificate from a doctor
  • Costs of use of health promotion centers involving use of hot springs or exercise, with a doctor's instruction and certificate
  • Costs of use of visiting nurse stations
  • Costs of use of health services facilities for the aged and convalescent facilities (patient cost-sharing for long-term care expenses, meal expenses, and accommodation expenses)
  • One-half of patient cost-sharing for long-term care expenses, meal expenses, and accommodation expenses at special nursing homes for the elderly
  • Patient cost-sharing for long-term care expenses when receiving long-term care services at home together with medical care services based on a service plan for persons identified as needing long-term care
  • Costs of specified health diagnoses and specified health guidance for persons eligible for certain active support services as part of specified health guidance
  • Note1:The "medical care cost informatin" issued by the Health Insurance Association contains important information you will need when filing your final tax returns to claim the amount of your copayments, minus any additional benefits from the Association. You can print this information out from the "View your medical care cost information" page in Sukoyaka Support Plus.(If you have opted to recieve a hard copy, be careful not to throw it away and file it immediately in a secure location. The "medical care cost information" notice cannot be reissued.)
  • Note2:Note that while "medical care cost information" issued by the Health Insurance Association contains important information for tax returns, it cannot be used in place of actual receipts.

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