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B.C. officials highlight new tax-exempt health-related services

Minister of State for Seniors and Richmond, B.C., MP Alice Wong and Vancouver South MP Wai Young, on behalf of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, have highlighted the Harper Government’s support for families through new health-related tax relief, in an event recently held at the Department of Finance in Burnaby, B.C.


March 25, 2014
By Massage Therapy Canada staff

Topics

The government officials were joined by John Lee, Task Chair of the
Canadian Coalition of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture
Associations.

Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes a number of
measures to reduce the tax burden on Canadians, including health-related
tax relief such as an exemption from the Goods and Services
Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) on acupuncturists’ and naturopathic
doctors’ professional services. Changes to the tax treatment of these
services and other GST/HST health-related measures announced in Economic
Action Plan 2014 became effective on February 12, 2014.

"Whether
it’s the introduction of the Family Caregiver Tax Credit and the
Registered Disability Savings Plan, the ongoing expansion of eligible
expenses under the Medical Expense Tax Credit, or the many other actions
taken by our Government since 2006, the Government is proud of its
record of keeping taxes low through health-related tax relief that
better reflects the health-care needs of Canadians. The tax relief
highlighted today, including the exemption of acupuncturists’ and
naturopathic doctors’ professional services from the GST/HST, continues
our commitment to support Canadians and their families," said  Wong,
Minister of State for Seniors and MP for Richmond, B.C.

This tax
relief builds on the Harper Government’s record of keeping taxes low for
Canadians and their families, according to a Health Canada statement.

Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes measures that will expand health-related tax relief by:
– Exempting acupuncturists’ and naturopathic doctors’ professional services from the GST/HST

Expanding the list of eligible expenses under the Medical Expense Tax
Credit to include costs associated with service animals specially
trained to assist individuals with severe diabetes, such as diabetes
alert dogs
– Providing further tax recognition for costs associated
with eligible specially designed medical therapies and training by:
expanding the current GST/HST exemption for training that is specially
designed to help individuals cope with a disorder or disability to also
exempt services of designing such training, such as developing a
training plan; including amounts paid for the design of an
individualized therapy plan as an eligible expense for income tax
purposes under the Medical Expense Tax Credit.
– Adding eyewear
specially designed to electronically enhance the vision of individuals
with vision impairment that is supplied on the order of a physician or
other specified health professional to the list of GST/HST-free
(zero-rated) medical and assistive devices.

"We welcome the new
measure to add acupuncture services to the list of important health
services that are exempt from the GST. This will help alleviate the
burden for patients seeking acupuncture treatment. As the task chair of
the Canadian Coalition of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture
Associations, I thank the federal government for recognizing this," said
Lee.


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