The federal government announced in the budget of Feb 2008 that they would be:
- “Exempting from the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) specially designed training to assist individuals in coping with the effect of a disorder or disability, such as autism.”
It took the bureaucrats 3 years to catch up with the politicians and actually formulate a policy. Here is the link to the GI-113 info sheet produced by the government in Jan 2011.
Is GST/HST now exempt from Autism Services?
As if! Some consultants continue to charge GST/HST. They are concerned that the supervision aspect of their job is still subject to tax. The government appears unwilling to give some of them a written ruling.
The Good News
You can apply for a rebate of GST/HST paid. For detailed info refer to RC4033 General Application for GST/HST Rebates
The Bad News
Presently, CRA is only allowing GST/HST refunds for up to the previous two years (from the date the application is received by CRA), so don’t delay the application process.
The following documents should be included in the rebate request:
- A letter from a medical practitioner who “certifies in writing that the training is an appropriate means to assist the individual in coping with the effects of the autism or to alleviate or eliminate those effects”.
- Form GST-189 . Enter Reason Code 1 (GST charged in error). Use calculation method (b) to total the GST/HST actually paid.
- Form GST288 to list all details of the GST rebate request.
- The terms in the letter from the practitioner (i.e. “ABA”) should match the receipts and invoices submitted.
- Original invoices and receipts
- A letter of explanation, outlining what you are applying for and why. Ordinarily there is a two year limit for claiming a GST/HST rebate. In this case the GI-113 was not published until January 2011. You should make reference to this in your letter. A sample letter is available on my Files page.
- If you are denied the rebate or are unable to receive any rebates older than 2 years, you can call the tax office or if that fails, you should file a “Notice of Objection” using form GST159
- Appeals to go beyond the two year limit have been rejected, but some parents are pursuing this matter. If there are updates to this, I will let you know. I would recommend that you protect your position and put in for all of your GST/HST refunds in case the ruling is overturned
GST rebates are only being processed for the last 2 years. Appeals have been filed with CCRA to resolve the discrepancy. You could choose to wait until the issue is resolved or go ahead and file for the rebate now. If you are denied rebates from Feb 2008, you must file a Notice of Objection within 90 days to maintain your file.
Please email me with your experiences and tips so I can pass them onto other parents.