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Ontario update: HST/GST exemption, research opportunities and enhancement


January 9, 2020
By RMTAO staff

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The Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of Ontario (RMTAO) has been hard at work advocating on behalf of all RMTs in Ontario. We are the only group working in the interest of RMTs and we have been fighting to ensure that Ontario RMTs remain widely recognized as evidence-based health professionals. We have been also been working with our national partners to ensure Canada-wide representation of the profession. Our priorities for 2020 include pursuing HST/GST exemption, expanding research opportunities for our RMTs and enhancing services to our members.

HST/GST exemption for RMTs

As many of you know, massage therapists are one of the only regulated health professionals required to charge HST/GST. Chiropractors, physiotherapists and naturopaths are all tax exempt. That means their patients’ health care dollars can be targeted to receiving much-needed health care instead of paying a tax.

The federal Ministry of Finance requires at least five provinces to regulate massage therapy before we are able to make a formal application for tax exemption. Earlier this year, we passed that hurdle when Prince Edward Island became the fifth province to regulate RMTs. Congrats PEI! We are looking forward to continuing to work with you and all of our provincial partners in the Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance (CMTA) to complete all the necessary steps before making a formal request for tax exemption.

We also need the help of RMTs across Canada. Please visit the CMTA’s grassroots, tax exemption campaign at RMTACT.ca. One of the essential steps to obtain tax exemption will be to demonstrate that the majority of massage therapists in Canada are supportive of the request, and one of the ways you can demonstrate your support for tax exemption is to sign up for free updates on RMTACT.ca. You can also share your story which may be featured on their website or in one of their videos.

Another way you can demonstrate your support is by joining your provincial professional association so that we can show the government that we represent the interests of most massage therapists across Canada. Obtaining tax exemption for massage therapists will be a time and resource intensive process, and it will not be possible without the support of members across Canada.

Evidence-based interventions

In order to support any RMTAO initiative, we will need robust evidence to support the use of massage therapy. One of the ways that the RMTAO will sup- port the creation of new research will be through partnerships with insurance companies, who will be able to provide funding for new research projects. This will both strengthen our relationships with the insurance industry and ultimately strengthen the evidence base supporting massage therapy. By increasing the evidence base for massage therapy, we will increase the recognition of massage therapy across Canada.

Enhancing member services to help RMTs succeed

While the RMTAO advocates on be- half of the massage therapy profession as a whole, we also continue to offer important programs, services, resources and support to our members. We will be reviewing all of our programs and services over the next few months to better serve our members. We will ensure that what we offer our members reflects what they want and need to succeed in their practices.


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