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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.

  • Description
  • FAQ

How are medical expenses deductions calculated?

When is the filing period for final tax returns?

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

What documents are needed to file a final tax return?

The documents and other items are needed to include the final tax return form which can be prepared at the National Tax Agency website, receipts from medical care institutions and other facilities, your certificate of income and withholding tax, your official seal, and your deposit passbook of the account where you would like to receive your reimbursement.

Note on use of the “insurance benefits/medical care cost information”

The insurance benefits/medical care cost information does not cover all examination items or treatment provided.

Because medical cost details may be received late from medical care institutions or points may change after review, this information will not necessarily reflect the amounts you paid at the hospital.

The insurance benefits/medical care cost information the Health Insurance Association makes available on its website can be used as proof of benefits for applying for a medical expenses deduction on a final income tax return or for checking records of examination and treatment. It does not constitute proof of the amounts of medical care costs paid.

However, in certain cases, the insurance benefits/medical care cost information may be used as an attachment when applying for a medical expenses deduction, by adding supplemental receipt information to the original document. Check with your nearest tax office for more information.

You need receipts issued by medical care institutions to apply for a medical expenses deduction on a final income tax return. Be sure to keep them in a safe place.

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

The self-medication tax system (deduction for Rx-to-OTC switch drugs) [special exception for medical expense deductions]

On an exceptional basis during the period from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2021, if an insured person, family member, or other covered party purchases a total of more than 12,000 yen in Rx-to-OTC switch drugs (i.e., OTC [over-the-counter] drugs selected to take the place of Rx [prescription] drugs), he or she may deduct from his or her gross income for the year the amount of such costs in excess of 12,000 yen (up to a maximum of 88,000 yen).
To be eligible for this deduction, you must have undergone at least one of the following: Specified health diagnosis, vaccination, periodic health examination, health screening, cancer screening.
You cannot combine this special deduction for Rx-to-OTC switch drugs and ordinary medical expense deductions. Eligible persons must choose whether to use the deduction for Rx-to-OTC switch drugs or ordinary medical expense deductions.

See here for details. <Japanese>

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