5 Tips for Filing Cannabis Claims on Your Taxes

Medical marijuana can be claimed as an expense on your tax return, just like any other prescription drug. But you can't just jot down how much you spent and expect the taxman to take your word for it. Here are five things you'll need to know in order to claim medical marijuana on your taxes.

1. Remember Your Receipt

If you're the kind of person who never holds onto receipts, then you'll be out of luck when tax season comes around. You won't be able to claim any cannabis you've purchased if you can't, well, prove you actually bought it. So save those slips or there's no telling how much you've spent on cannabis.

2. Legal Cannabis Only

Cannabis has actually been a legitimate tax write-off for Canadian patients for at least the past decade. However, the government won't refund you if you bought your medicine from the black market. If you want to claim your medical marijuana on your taxes it'll have to be obtained through legitimate means.

That means not only that you won't be able to claim cannabis purchased from your neighborhood dealer, but you also can't claim marijuana sourced from illicit dispensaries either.

3. Don't Expect a Full Refund

Unfortunately, you won't be getting a check worth the whole amount of what you've spent on medical marijuana over the past year. The amount of money you can actually claim is equal to your total spend on medical marijuana minus C$2,268, or three percent of your net income—whichever is less. You can expect to have the same deductions on any other medical expense claims you might make too.

4. Don't Be Surprised by an Audit

Yes, even if everything is above board, you still might get audited. Now that recreational cannabis is legal across Canada, patients aren't the only people who can buy legal marijuana in Canada. This means the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has a lot more work to do to ensure that all those marijuana-related expense claims are actually coming from prescribed patients who purchased their cannabis legally.

If you do get audited, you'll be glad you've still got those receipts on hand.

5. Sorry, Canadians Only

That's right. If you live south of the border, you're out of luck. Although medical marijuana has been legalized in 33 states, the federal government still officially prohibits cannabis across the country. That means marijuana can't be claimed as a medical expense, even in those 33 states. And that won't change until federal lawmakers finally get serious about marijuana reform.

h/t The GrowthOp

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This Massachusetts Democrat - and 2020 presidential candidate - has a strong history of supporting veterans' access to medical marijuana. Over the years, Congressman Seth Moulton has acted as the primary sponsor on three cannabis-related bills—all of them focusing on improving veteran access to medical marijuana. As an Iraq War vet himself, Moulton has taken a strong stance in supporting the health and well-being of other veterans who continue to be barred from accessing medical marijuana - even in states where it's legal - because federal prohibition prevents Veterans Affairs from letting vets use medical cannabis.

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