Exceptional Burden: Health travel can reduce taxes

If only one trip promises to cure or alleviate an illness, the costs for this can possibly reduce the tax burden.

Exceptional Burden: Health travel can reduce taxes

If only one trip promises to cure or alleviate an illness, the costs for this can possibly reduce the tax burden. For this, however, certain conditions must be met.

Same income, same assets, same marital status - and yet you are financially much worse off than the people in your comparison group? Those who are particularly financially burdened by a circumstance that they cannot change may pay less tax. Everyone has to bear a reasonable part of the burden themselves. However, if this is exceeded, the difference is taken into account as a tax reduction.

"The reasonable burden depends on the total amount of income, marital status and number of children," says Daniela Karbe-Gessler from the Taxpayers' Association. If the sum of the extraordinary burdens is higher than the reasonable burden, the excess amount reduces the taxable income.

In a specific case, the Münster Finance Court (Az.: 7 K 2261/20) decided that a plaintiff's stay in Thailand over the winter months cannot be considered an extraordinary burden. The 70-year-old is disabled with a degree of 90 and suffers from what is known as cold allodynia, among other things. Anyone with this disease feels cold stimuli as pain. The doctors therefore certified that staying in a tropical climate in winter was good for the man's health.

For the tax consideration, however, it depends on the content of the certificate. "In cases of climatic therapy, it is necessary for a specific medically indicated health resort and the expected duration of the therapy to be certified in order to ensure differentiation from recreational trips and to counteract abuse," says Karbe-Gessler.

The judges pointed out that the inevitability of a climate cure was formalized by an official medical report issued before the start of the treatment or a previous medical certificate from a medical service of the health insurance company.

Those affected should therefore make sure that they receive the necessary certificates in order to be able to state the costs in the income tax return.

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