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Claiming Tax Benefit on Serious Ailment Expenses Made Easy
October, 15th 2015

Finance Ministry has made it easier to claim tax benefit on expenditure with regard to serious ailments like thalassaemia, cancer, AIDS and haemophilia by doing away with the requirement of obtaining a certificate from a government hospital.

Central Board of Direct Taxes has issued a notification amending Rule 11DD of the Income Tax Act to facilitate this.

The amended rule relaxes the condition of obtaining the certificate for claiming expenditure under section 80DDB in respect of specified ailments from a specialist working in a government hospital, the Finance Ministry said.

"As per amended Rule 11DD, the prescription can be issued by any specialist mentioned in the amended rule. Henceforth, it will not be mandatory to obtain a certificate from a specialist working in a government hospital," it said.

Under 80DDB, a deduction of up to Rs 40,000 is allowed for treatment of ailments of serious nature.

The deduction is in case of senior citizen is Rs 60,000 and Rs 80,000 for very senior citizen (above age of 80 years). The tax benefit is given to the assessee or dependents. The dependents include spouse, parents, brother and sister.

Under the existing provisions, a certificate in the prescribed form from a specialist working in a government hospital is required. That specialist can be a neurologist, oncologist, urologist, haematologist, immunologist or any other doctor.

The requirement of a certificate from a doctor working in a government hospital was causing undue hardship to the persons intending to claim the deduction.

Government hospitals at many places do not have doctors specialising in such branches of medicine.

"For this and other reasons, it may be difficult for the taxpayer to obtain a certificate from a government hospital.

"In view of the above, it is proposed to amend section 80DDB so as to provide that the assessee will be required to obtain a prescription from a specialist doctor for the purpose of availing this deduction," the Ministry had said in the Union Budget 2015-16.

The tax benefit was announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his last Budget speech.

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