Last updated: July 23 2008

Draft Legislative Proposals on GST Issues

As mentioned last week, tax measures to be implemented from Budget 2008 include numerous changes relating to the application of the GST/HST. These include a number of amendments of GST and HST with respect to the following:

Training for individuals with autism and other disabilities ñ Effective February 26, 2008 training that is specifically designed for individuals coping with autism or other disabilities will qualify for exemption from GST/HST. The exemption will be expanded to include training if supplied by a government; the cost of the training is reimbursed under a government program (partially or fully) or by a health professional, who in the course of a professional client relationship and is GST/HST exempt, identifies the program as a means of dealing with the disorder.

Prescription drugs ñ The budget proposes to zero rate drug supplies to final consumers when prescribed by a health professional and is effective for supplies made after February 26, 2008.

Medical and assistive devices ñ A number of medical and assistive devices are zero rated, and Budget 2008 has added four new categories to the zero rated list as follows: items for neuromuscular stimulation or standing therapy devices that are supplied on a written order by a medical practitioner; chairs designed for use by individuals with disabilities when supplied on a written order of a medical practitioner; chest wall oscillation systems used in airway clearance therapy and specially trained service animals used to assist an individual with a disability or impairment.

Nursing services - Effective February 26, 2008 nursing services provided to individuals will be exempt from GST/HST regardless of where provided (i.e. health care facility or the individual's home). This would apply to services administered by a registered nurse, a registered nursing assistant, a licensed or registered practical nurse, or a registered psychiatric nurse, so long as the service is provided within a nurse-patient relationship.

Treatment of Long-Term Residential Care Facilities ñ The application of GST/HST on these facilities will be clarified to ensure that they remain eligible for the New Residential Rental Property GST Rebate and the GST/HST exemption afforded to residential leases and sales of used residential rental buildings.