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How do I override the optimization to claim medical expenses on my and my spouse's tax returns?

To claim medical expenses for tax year 2020, your expenses must total more than 3% of your net income, or $2,397, whichever is less. By combining all your medical expenses on one return, you are more likely to reach that 3% mark.

It’s usually most beneficial for the lower income earner to claim all the medical expenses, as the 3% threshold will be lower. TurboTax is designed to optimize your medical expense claim and claims them on one return. There is no limit on the total amount of medical expenses you can claim in a year.

Note: Remember to claim the corresponding provincial or territorial non-refundable tax credit on line 58689 of your provincial or territorial Form 428. If you’re a Quebec resident , you may also be entitled to the Refundable tax credit for medical expenses.

There is no way to override the medical expense optimization in the TurboTax online edition. If you want to split medical expenses between you and your spouse/partner, you need to prepare your returns separately.

You will need to override the amount on the line for Medical expenses for self, spouse or common-law partner, and your dependent children born in 2003 or later of your T1 General form. To do this:

  1. Select Forms from the TurboTax menu if you’re not already in Forms mode.
  2. Select Forms again from the TurboTax menu.
  3. Enter Schedule in the Keyword to search for field in the pop-up box that appears.
  4. Select T1 General – Federal Income Tax and Benefit Return from the Forms section, then select OK. T1 – Income Tax and Benefit Return.
  5. Navigate to the line for Medical expenses for self, spouse or common-law partner, and your dependent children born in 2003 or later (line 33099 under Part B – Federal non-refundable tax credits (continued), about two-thirds down the page), and place your cursor in the field.
  6. Press F2to override the calculated amount and type the amount you want to enter. A pop-up box appears.
  7. Select Yes to the question Do you want to override this field?, then enter your new amount. Note: If you override this calculation, you won’t be able to file your return using NETFILE.
  8. Repeat steps 1 to 6 on your spouse's return.

For more information on eligible medical expenses, visit this CRA page.

Related information

How does my income affect how much I can deduct for medical expenses?

Where do I enter my medical expenses?

How do I choose a claim period for medical expenses?

What medical expenses can I claim?

Eligible medical expenses you can claim on your tax return (source: CRA)

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