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Is medical treatment tax deductible

Is medical treatment tax deductible

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I have a client who is a sole trader gardener.  He had back trouble from heavy lifting during a job he completed recently.  Can the chiropractor fees be treated as a tax deductible expense?  He wouldn't have been able to continue working if he had not have had the treatment.

In a short while this client will incorporate.  He has also asked for a basic list of pros and cons behind giving himself, his wife (who will also be a director of the company) and 2 young children private medical insurance through the company.  Clearly this will be a P11D benefit but is there anything else of note to point out to the client about doing this?

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By NDH
31st Jul 2013 16:49

Chiropractor fee's wouldn't be deductible because they're not wholly, exclusively and necessarily for business use. I seem to recall a guitarist who couldn't claim for an operation to his fingers when he was unable to play the instrument.

I'd also be dubious to class a chiropractor as medical treatment but that's another matter completely.

Thanks (1)
31st Jul 2013 17:28

On the other hand...

... Parsons, a stunt man was permitted deduction for chiropracty and massage costs. Parsons was based on the fact that the business might have lost work completely had he not been put back into good working order, but it could have been wrongly decided; it is only an FTT decision, so not a binding precedent.

NDH is referring to the case of Prince v Mapp (see BIM37945). Harry Prince's day job was as a draughtsman, an in that day job he injured one of his fingers. He also had earnings from his trade as a musician, playing his guitar. The injury to his finger meant that he could no longer play the guitar.

The cour found that the surgery he paid for to restore the proper functionality of his finger was undertaken wholly and exclusively for the purposes of playing his guitar. Unfortunately he played his guitar both for the purposes of his trade and for his own enjoyment, if he'd played only for trade purposes, he'd have won the case.

So the questions are: does your gardener only need his back in good working order for the purposes of gardening? and is the need to continue working his need to maintain an income or a business need to retain custom?

The first question was rhetorical, but the answer to the second may mean that you can place some reliance on Parsons, although the client should be warned that it isn't solid.

In the company, the medical insurance is just a benefit in kind, probably all chargeable on the principal, even if wife/kids are employees.

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