BetterHelp and Canadian Taxes: Is Your Therapy Tax Deductible?

Written By

Helen Kaminski, MSc

Updated:

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Seeking therapy online has become increasingly popular in Canada, with platforms like BetterHelp offering convenient and accessible access to mental health professionals. But with rising costs, a common question arises: Can you claim your BetterHelp fees on your Canadian taxes?

While you can’t simply deduct any BetterHelp session you attend, under specific circumstances, your therapy fees may qualify as a medical expense, potentially reducing your tax burden.

Deduction Eligibility

  1. Diagnosed Mental Health Condition: The therapy you receive must address a diagnosed mental health condition. This could include anxiety, depression, PTSD, or other recognized conditions. Therapy for personal growth or general well-being wouldn’t qualify.
  2. Qualified Therapist: Your therapist on BetterHelp must be a licensed professional in Canada. This includes psychologists, psychiatrists, registered social workers, and registered psychotherapists.
  3. Documentation is Key: Keep all receipts and invoices related to your BetterHelp sessions. This includes monthly subscription fees, additional session charges, and any other relevant payments.

It’s important to note that most BetterHelp therapists are located in the US and the UK, which may not meet one of the main requirements for deduction.

Therefore, it’s vital to confirm that your therapist is licensed in Canada before applying for the deduction and, secondly, to confirm the deductions with tax professionals before applying.

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Understanding the Deduction Process

Once you’ve confirmed the above conditions are met, claiming your online therapy fees on your taxes involves navigating a few key points:

  • Federal vs. Provincial Deductions: You can claim qualifying medical expenses on your federal tax return. However, each province has its own rules and regulations regarding medical expense deductions. Check with your provincial tax authority for specific details.
  • The 3% Threshold: Only the portion of your medical expenses exceeding 3% of your net income is eligible for deduction. For example, if your net income is $50,000, you can only claim the portion of your virtual therapy fees that exceed $1,500.
  • Alternative Tax Credits: Some provinces offer specific tax credits for mental health services. These credits may be more beneficial than claiming medical expense deductions, depending on your situation.

Claiming Your Deductions: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Gather your receipts and documentation.
  2. Check your provincial tax rules for medical expense deductions.
  3. Calculate the deductible amount based on your net income and the 3% threshold.
  4. File your tax return and claim your eligible medical expenses.

Helpful Resources:

ResourceDetails
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)Find information on authorized medical practitioners and medical expense deductions on the CRA website: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/publications/rc4065/medical-expenses.html
Provincial Tax AuthoritiesEach province has its own tax authority website with specific details about medical expense deductions.
Tax Preparation ServicesConsulting a tax professional can be helpful for navigating the complexities of claiming medical expenses.

Beyond the Deductions

a person sitting down in front of laptop talking on a headset and researching deduction schedules for mental health services in Canada

Remember, seeking therapy shouldn’t solely depend on tax benefits. The value of therapy lies in its ability to improve your mental health and well-being. 

Whether or not your BetterHelp fees are tax-deductible, consider the long-term investment you’re making in your mental health and overall quality of life.

Bottom Line

While claiming BetterHelp fees on your Canadian taxes isn’t straightforward, it’s certainly possible if you are using locally licensed online therapists who meet specific conditions. By understanding the eligibility requirements, the deduction process, and available resources, you can maximize your potential tax benefits and prioritize your mental health journey. 

So, take a deep breath, gather your documentation, and explore the possibilities of claiming your online therapy fees. Remember, investing in your mental health is always a worthwhile pursuit.

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About the author

Helen Kaminski, MSc

Helen Kaminski, MSc

Mindful living for a happier, healthier you. I’m a medical writer, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and a mental health advocate in Warsaw, Poland, with nine years working as a therapist. I hold a Master's in Clinical Psychology degree from the University of Warsaw. I specialize in writing about mental health, using my experiences and academic background to educate and inspire others. In my free time, I volunteer at a Disability Learning Center and go for nature walks. My writing aims to break down mental health stigma and help others feel understood. Social connections are vital to mental well-being, and I am dedicated to fostering communities of support and empathy. By sharing knowledge and personal insights, I strive to create a more compassionate world. Social

1 thought on “BetterHelp and Canadian Taxes: Is Your Therapy Tax Deductible?”

  1. I’m not sure about the tax deductibility of BetterHelp in Canada. As a self-employed person, I can deduct some healthcare expenses from my taxes, but I think therapy sessions would only count if they were from a registered psychologist or clinical counsellor.

    Reply

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