Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a) and (b), contributions to employee health and prescription drugs insurance plans are part of the broader category of “employee benefits” and are not required to be reported as separate items on the corporate income tax return. In the absence of reliable tax data representing a broad cross-section of Canadian corporations, the Department of Finance is not able to provide the requested information.
With regard to (c) and (d), the medical expense tax credit, METC, recognizes the effect of above-average medical or disability-related expenses on an individual’s ability to pay tax. It is calculated by reference to the lowest personal income tax rate for the taxation year. For 2011, the METC was available for qualifying medical expenses in excess of the lesser of $2,052--indexed to inflation at $2,109 in 2012 and $2,152 in 2013--or 3% of net income.
The tax expenditure related to the METC for the 2011 calendar year is estimated to be $1.19 billion, as noted in the 2012 tax expenditures and evaluations report.
The Department of Finance is not able to determine the tax expenditure for premiums paid for private health services plans claimed under the METC, as expenditure amounts relating to specific items claimed under the METC are not reported separately on the income tax return.