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LGBT Canadians now eligible for current and retroactive tax break on reproductive treatments

People who had fertility treatments as far back as 2007 can ask for a re-assessment by the end of 2017

The medical expense tax credit, which covers 15 percent of reproductive treatment fees over $2,268 or three percent of an individual’s net income, will now be available for LGBT people. Credit: Sandy Huffaker/Stringer/Getty Images

The federal government has made LGBT families and single people eligible for the same tax break on reproductive treatments that only people with infertility conditions could previously access — including for services dating back to 2007. 

The March 22, 2017, budget also set a $3.6-million budget for the government’s advisor on LGBTQ2 issues.

Currently, the medical expense tax credit covers 15 percent of treatment fees that cost more than either $2,268, or three percent of an individual’s net income — whichever is lowest.

For the year 2017, that tax credit will now available for “single individuals and same-sex couples.”

One cycle of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments costs roughly $10,000, meaning a single person who underwent IVF could save $1,500 in taxes. The change to the credit starts in 2017, and applies for the previous decade.

That means people who had fertility treatments in 2007 can ask for a re-assessment by the end of 2017, and a 2008 treatment could be counted if claimed by the end of 2018.

“Ending discrimination for families is a good measure,” says Angella MacEwen, a senior economist with the Canadian Labour Congress. 

This year is the first federal budget formed through a gender-based analysis, and MacEwen says the tax credit illustrates the importance of that approach. “It really sends that message about what a family is.”

Meanwhile, the federal government pledged $3.6 million for a new secretariat to assist MP Randy Boissonnault, the government’s special advisor on LGBTQ2 issues. This money will go towards staff hired by the Privy Council Office, suggesting the government will hire staff through a public process, instead of as political appointees.