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Exceptional burdens: deduct pharmaceutical costs from tax
Most Germans should now have the documents together to look at their tax returns for the past year. A tip from the German Pharmacists' Association comes just in time. This indicates that taxpayers can claim pharmaceutical expenditure as an “extraordinary burden”.
Several billion euros in co-payment
Doctors in Germany are prescribing more and more medication. As a result, the insured also pay a larger contribution to additional payments. According to the pharmaceutical association Pro Generika, patients had to pay two billion euros out of pocket for medicines in 2014. According to the association, this trend has been going on for years. A small consolation is that Germans can claim pharmaceutical expenses as extraordinary burdens when filing tax returns. The German Pharmacists Association (DAV) has pointed this out to all taxpayers who are currently preparing their income tax return for the past year 2015.
Claim costs against the tax return
The costs that can be deducted include the statutory additional payments of five to ten euros per prescription medication as well as investments in self-medication. In order for the tax office to recognize the expenditure, taxpayers have to provide proof of medical necessity in addition to the supporting documents, according to the DAV. This can be achieved using a green prescription on which the doctor recommends the patient a medication that is not actually reimbursed by the health insurance company. However, there are now many health insurers that reimburse the cost of over-the-counter medicines.
Pharmacists support customers
"If patients have to spend money on their health, they should also take the opportunity to have the costs credited against their taxes," said DAV patient representative Claudia Berger. "Many pharmacies support their customers in proving their expenditure on pharmaceuticals," said the expert. This works, for example, with a customer card. The pharmacy can then print out a cost statement that the tax office recognizes. However, as the DAV further explained, the expenditure is only tax-reducing when patients have exceeded the reasonable burden limit. This varies between one and seven percent depending on income, marital status and number of children.
Naturopathy costs deductible
In addition to co-payments and expenses for self-medication, other medical costs can also be taken into account. For example, naturopathic treatments are tax-deductible, as was decided a few years ago. In addition to treatments with a naturopath or homeopath, the costs for physiotherapists, speech therapists and dentists as well as hospital stays, cures or medical aids such as glasses or shoe inserts can also be taken into account. And a few years ago it was reported that donated sperm donations can be deducted from the tax. (ad)