Tax and Disability
What are the criteria for being considered a person with a disability?
First, the ITR-DD
form must be completed by you (part A of the form) and a registered medical practitioner qualified to express an opinion on your disability (part B and C of the form). Your medical practitioner will have to answer various questions and confirm whether you, your spouse or child have a ‘moderate to severe’ disability in accordance with the criteria as stated in the ITR-DD
for either vision, communication, physical, hearing, intellectual or mental disability. The form only needs to be completed every five years for taxpayers who or whose spouse or child has a permanent disability.
What are tax benefits for a person with a disability?
A taxpayer who has or whose spouse or child has a disability in accordance with the criteria set out in the ITR-DD form
and confirmed by the medical practitioner, can claim 33,3% of the qualifying out-of-pocket medical expenses, which include disability related expenses, paid during the relevant year of assessment. SARS has prescribed a list of physical impairment or disability expenses. The expense does not automatically qualify as a deduction by mere reason of its listing. The expense must also be necessary for the alleviation of the restriction on a person’s ability to perform functions of daily living. For example, if a person in a wheelchair buys a hand-held GPS, the cost of the hand-held GPS will not qualify as a deduction even though the expense is in the list. This is because the hand-held GPS is not directly connected to this person’s disability. But in the case of a person who is, for example, visually impaired the cost of the hand-held GPS may qualify. There is a detailed list of the expenses
you can claim.
What are the tax benefits for a person with a physical impairment?
Physical impairment has been interpreted to mean the restriction on the person’s ability to function or perform daily activities after maximum correction which is less than a “moderate to severe” limitation (‘maximum correction’ meaning appropriate therapy, medication and use of devices). A taxpayer who has or whose spouse or child has a physical impairment may still claim certain qualifying prescribed expenses, but subject to limitation.
How do I claim for these benefits?
These expenses can be claimed when the taxpayer submits his or her tax return (ITR12). Please note that the ITR-DD form
must have been completed and must confirm that the person has a “moderate to severe” limitation in one of the diagnostic criteria before the 33.3% deduction of qualifying expenses in respect of a disability can apply. There is a full guide to all the expenses you can claim
. You can also download the audio file of the guide here.
You mustn't submit the form with your tax return, but must retain it in the event of a SARS audit.
Do you need help? Visit your nearest SARS branches
which offers a specialised service to people with hearing and/or walking disabilities:
If you are hearing impaired and need assistance, you may email us on _ContactDeaf@sars.gov.za.
Kindly note the underscore _ before the ContactDeaf email address.