The terms “necessarily incurred” and “in consequence of” are not defined in the Act. Therefore, they retain their ordinary dictionary meaning. “Necessary” is defined in the Concise Oxford Dictionary as “requiring to be done, essential,…needed for a purposes”. “Consequence” is defined in the same dictionary as “the result or effect of an action or a condition,.. as a result” This means that a prescribed expense does not automatically qualify as a deduction by mere reason of its listing. The expense must be necessary and incurred as a result of a physical impairment.
The term “physical impairment” is also not defined in the Act. However, in the context of section 18(1)(d) it has been interpreted as a disability that is less restraining than a “disability” as defined.
This means the restriction on the person’s ability to function or perform daily activities after maximum correction is less than a “moderate to severe limitation”. Maximum correction in this context means appropriate therapy, medication and use of devices.
You will be able to claim qualifying expenses under section 18 as a deduction from your income (inclusive of VAT) if you or your spouse or child or dependant has a physical impairment that is not a “disability” as defined. These qualifying expenses will, however, only be deductible to the extent that the amount exceeds 7.5% of your taxable income.
Physical impairments will, for example, include –
• bad eyesight;
• hearing problems;
• paralysis of a portion of the body; and
• brain dysfunctions such as dyslexia, hyperactivity or lack of concentration.
Diabetes and asthma is recognised as medical conditions and not a physical impairment..