What’s the deal with HST?
As of March 1st, P.E.I. became the fifth province in Canada to be regulated. Now, there are questions swirling around HST exemption.
The Canadian Massage Therapy Alliance (CMTA) and its associated supporters are now preparing to launch an official statement to the minister of finance, but before that can happen, the profession (and the CMTA) must prove to the federal government that the majority of massage therapists in Canada are united behind this. In other words, the CMTA needs to represent a larger number of massage therapists across Canada. In addition to encouraging all MTs to join their provincial associations involved with the CMTA, the launch of RMTACT.ca aims to help. Learn more below.
Currently, massage therapists are one of the only health professionals required to collect and remit tax. Not only will HST exemption increase access to members of the public (since paying tax can be a barrier), but according to the CMTA, by becoming tax exempt, “massage therapists are put on a more equal level with their health care peers and can gain more recognition as a valuable part of health care teams. Tax exemption will also send the very important message that massage therapy is not a service, it’s an important part of health care.”
Many MTs are left wondering when exactly this will happen – and of course, the timeline will depend entirely on the government. Since there is a federal election this fall, a new government could impact the timeline. However, it’s estimated to take effect between two to five years, based on the experience of other professions (like Naturopathy) that have successfully obtained tax exemption.
Looking ahead, if massage therapy does in fact become tax exempt, the CMTA will provide guidance and tools for considerations regarding rates. However, they stress it’s important to recognize that the focus on rate adjustment post tax exemption is not the focus – the focus is on increased access to massage therapy by Canadians: “The government would not make massage therapists tax exempt as a financial benefit to the RMT.”