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Deduction for medical care expenditures

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  3. Deduction for medical care expenditures

When your medical care expenditures in a year, including all of your insured family members’ expenditures, exceed the standard amount, the excess amount of medical care expenditure is deducted from taxable income and a portion of the tax you paid will be refunded. This system is called deduction for medical care expenditures.

For details of the procedure, please contact your nearest tax office. You can also search on the National Tax Agency website.

The National Tax Agency website: http://www.nta.go.jp
On the website, you can learn about how to go through the process of deduction for medical care expenditures as well as how to fill in on-screen copies of the Final Return Forms.

How to calculate the deduction amount for medical care expenditures

How to calculate the deduction amount for medical care expenditures

When to file your final returns

The period to file final returns is between February 16 and March 15 every year. However, returns of deduction for medical care expenditures by income earners such as salaried workers are accepted for filing from January onwards.

Documents required to file your final returns

Final Returns Form (available to fill in through the National Tax Agency website), receipts from medical institutions, tax withheld certificate, seal impression, deposit book of your account receiving returns, etc.

Examples of expenditure covered by deduction for medical care expenditure

  • Treatment cost paid to medical institutions
  • Purchase cost of drugs for treatment
  • Outpatient cost and doctor’s house visit cost
  • Cost of dietary treatment and life therapy during hospitalization
  • Dentist cost not covered by insurance
  • Medical examination cost from maternity to post-childbirth and delivery costs
  • Treatment cost for massage, acupressure, acupuncture, moxibustion
  • Purchase cost of artificial hand, artificial leg, etc.
  • Cost of diapers for a person bedridden for more than six months with a doctor’s verification
  • Charge for use of hot spring or similar, and exercise-type health-promoting facilities with direction and verification of a doctor.
  • Charge for home-visit nursing
  • Charges for healthcare facility for the elderly persons and long term care bed (co-payment portion for long-term care costs, meal costs, living costs)
  • Half of the co-payment portion of the cost for receiving long-term care, meals, living costs in a home for the elderly persons requiring special care
  • Co-payment portion of long-term care cost if you receive home long-term care services based on your care plan, together with medical-type services.
  • In accordance with specific health guidance, costs paid for specific medical checkups and specific health guidance that are borne by eligible people for certain types of positive support

Self-medication tax system (exemption for the deduction for medical care expenditures)

To provide cover for the use of self-purchased medical drugs subject to appropriate health supervision, the “Self-medication tax system (exemption for the deduction for medical care expenditures)” has been put in force as a special exception in the medical expense deduction system.

Overview of the system

If you have received medical checkups and preventive vaccinations for the maintenance and promotion of your health as well as for disease prevention, and also your annual purchase amount of OTC drugs covered by this system exceeds 12,000 yen, by filing final returns, you are able to deduct the amount in excess of 12,000 yen (with an upper limit of 88,000 yen) from the relevant year’s total income amount.

Relation to the regular deduction for medical care expenditures

Deduction from income through the self-medication tax system and regular deduction for medical care expenditures cannot be used simultaneously. For the medical care expenditures deduction system for the purchase of drugs covered by the system, either the regular deduction for medical care expenditures or the self-medication tax system can be applied to the purchase fees and the insured person chooses the system which will apply.
For specific procedures about final returns, please contact your nearest tax office. You can also search on the National Tax Agency website, etc.

Period covered by the system

January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2021

* This exemption can be applied to final returns from 2017

People eligible for filing

Those who fall into all of the following three categories in the relevant year (January to December) can file.

  1. You pay income tax and residence tax.
  2. Your annual purchase amount of OTC drugs covered by this system exceeded 12,000 yen.
    (Includes the purchase amount of spouse and other relatives who depend for a living on the insured person)
  3. You have received one or more of the following as a measure to maintain and promote health and prevent disease.
    • Medical checkups (e.g. complete medical checkup, various kinds of medical checkups (examinations)) conducted by health insurance societies, etc.
    • Medical checkups conducted at municipalities as health promotion business services (medical checkups intended for welfare recipients, etc.)
    • Preventive vaccinations (regular vaccinations or preventive vaccinations of influenza vaccine)
    • Regular medical checkups conducted at place of employment (employer medical checkups)
    • Specific medical checkups (so-called metabolic syndrome medical checkups) or specific health guidance
    • Health screening for cancer conducted by municipalities
  • * Medical checkups conducted at municipalities as resident business services using local government budgets are not covered.
  • * Medical checkups voluntarily received bearing the full expenses are not covered.

Drugs covered by the system

Medical drugs prescribed by doctors to drugs converted to OTC drugs sold in pharmacies, etc., (so-called switch OTC drugs) are all covered.

Taxable components and items are listed on the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website.

‘Since the system was enforced, the following identification mark has been applied on packages of covered products, as a reference when purchasing them.

identification mark

* You can claim for OTC drugs covered by this system even if there is no identification mark on the product package. They will be noted as covered products on the purchase receipts.

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