Doctors: Are they obligated to receive payments by check or credit card?

Until the year 2013 an individual could use medical services as a personal deduction in their annual tax return without worrying about the payment method, but this is no longer the case. Since the tax reform law that took effect at the beginning of 2014, this type of payments must be made by check, electronic transaction, credit or debit card.

This new disposition has taken the doctors and their patients by surprise, since it was not adequately shared on the media. Nowadays if you go to the doctor, you need to ask for the invoice (CFDI) otherwise they may not give it to you or in some cases they will not even receive checks or credit cards.

Income Tax Law established in article 151 states that individuals can apply personal deductions on their annual tax return, and one of those is medical, dental or hospital fees. 

On the same sense, on July 10 of the present year, the authority issued a regulatory criterion, under the heading 29/ISR/NV, that states (in resume):

29/ISR/NV Payment in medical, dental or hospital costs.

Article 151, fraction I Income Tax Law, establishes that individuals that are residents in the country (Mexico) and receive incomes mentioned on Title IV of the same Law, could calculate the annual tax return by applying the authorized deductions in each chapter of the Law (according to the income), the personal deductions for the medical, dental and hospital fees of the person, their spouse or partner and their immediate family, only if this persons don’t receive the same or a more income that results by multiplying the minimum wage of the correspond area by the days of the year, and the payments are made by check, wire transfer, credit or debit card. 

For this matter, it is necessary that the persons that render the services (medical, dental or hospital), have their own technological equipment that will allow their clients to make the correct payment.

It is considered an unfair tax practice when:

I.          The providers of medical, dental or hospital services won’t accept checks, wire transfers or credit cards in accounts under their name.

II.        The people who advise, render services or participate to prevent the implementation of this practice.

In conclusion, every doctor should take this advice and know that SAT (Servicio de Administración Tributaria) considers the failure to follow the rules in prejudicing users of its services an undue tax practice.

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