Specially Designed Training to Assist Individuals with Autism

GST/HST Info Sheet GI-113
August 2014

This version replaces the one dated January 2011.

This info sheet explains how the GST/HST applies to training that is specially designed to assist individuals with autism, such as Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) or Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) training, as well as to services of designing certain training plans.

Exemption from the GST/HST for specially designed training services

Supplies of training services given to children and adults with autism or to a person who provides personal care or supervision to those individuals are exempt from the GST/HST if the following three conditions are met:

1. The training is specially designed to assist an individual with autism in coping with effects of autism or to alleviate or eliminate those effects.

The training does not have to be given by a doctor, psychologist or other health care professional in order to be exempt.

However, the training must not be similar to training ordinarily given to persons who do not have autism or who do not provide care or supervision to an individual with autism. For example, this exemption does not apply to general fitness training.

2. The training is given to the individual with autism or to a person who provides personal care or supervision to that individual otherwise than in a professional capacity, such as a parent or caregiver.

The exemption does not apply to training given to persons who care for the individual with autism in a professional capacity, such as teachers or personal care aides.

3. One of the following conditions applies:

  1. a practitioner, such as a provincially‑licensed psychologist, a doctor, a social worker or a registered nurse, acting in the course of a professional‑client relationship, 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;

The person who certifies that this training is appropriate would not be the same person who gives the training.

  1. the training is supplied by the federal, provincial or territorial government;
  2. the person who supplies the training is paid an amount by the federal, provincial or territorial government, or by an organization administering a government program targeted at assisting individuals with autism, to give the training; or
  3. the person who acquires the training service is paid an amount by the federal, provincial or territorial government, or by an organization administering a government program targeted at assisting individuals with autism for the purpose of acquiring the training. For example, this condition is met if financial assistance is provided by the provincial government to parents of a child with autism, for the purpose of acquiring the training.

The financial assistance described in (c) and (d) only has to subsidize part of the amount paid for the training service in order for either of these final two conditions to be met.

Example 1

A doctor diagnoses a child with autism. The doctor, who is acting in the course of a professional‑client relationship with the child, certifies in writing that a specially designed ABA training program is an appropriate means to assist the child in alleviating or eliminating the effects of the autism. The child’s parents subsequently enter into an agreement with a non‑profit organization for the child to receive this specially designed training. The supply of the training program by the non‑profit organization is exempt from the GST/HST.

Example 2

The provincial government provides financial assistance to parents of a child with autism so that they may acquire specially designed training for their child. The parents contract with a private service provider to acquire specially designed behavioural intervention training for their child. The training service is exempt from the GST/HST.

Example 3

The parents of a child with autism provide personal care to that child in their home. They acquire specially designed training to assist the child in coping with the effects of the autism. The supplier of the training receives government funding to provide this service. The training service is exempt from the GST/HST.

Example 4

A doctor treats adolescents with autism. Acting in the course of a professional‑client relationship with a particular patient, the doctor provides a written certificate to that patient’s parents that a specially designed training program will be effective in alleviating or eliminating the effects of the autism. The parents contract with a for‑profit organization for the specially designed training. The training service rendered by the for‑profit organization to the patient is exempt from the GST/HST.

Example 5

A professional medical corporation is registered as a medical practitioner by the College of Physicians and Surgeons in its province of residence. The corporation treats adolescents with autism. It provides a written certification to a patient’s parents that its specially designed training program will be effective in alleviating or eliminating the effects of the autism. The parents then arrange for their child to receive the training from the corporation.

The training in this situation does not fall under this exemption from the GST/HST as the person who certifies that the training is appropriate for the individual with the autism cannot be the person who also gives the training. However, the training would nonetheless be exempt as it falls under the exemption from the GST/HST for consultative, diagnostic, treatment or other health care services rendered to an individual by a medical practitioner.

Example 6

A psychologist provides customized training services for teachers and staff of an elementary school to assist them in understanding the needs of students with autism and to provide instruction on coping with the effects of the autism. The supply of the training is taxable as this exemption does not apply to training given to persons who provide care or supervision in a professional capacity to an individual with autism.

Exemption from the GST/HST for services of designing training plans

The supply of a service of designing a training plan is exempt from the GST/HST if it is made after February 11, 2014 and the following three conditions are met:

1. The training plan is for training that is specially designed to assist an individual with autism in coping with effects of the autism or to alleviate or eliminate those effects.

However, the training must not be similar to training ordinarily given to persons who do not have autism, or who do not provide care or supervision to an individual with autism. For example, this exemption would not apply if the design service is to create a training plan for general fitness training.

2. The training plan is for training that is to be given to the individual with autism or to a person who provides personal care or supervision to that individual otherwise than in a professional capacity, such as a parent or caregiver.

3. One of the following conditions applies:

The person who certifies that this training is appropriate would not be the same person who gives the training.

  1. a practitioner, such as a provincially‑licensed psychologist, a doctor, a social worker or a registered nurse, acting in the course of a professional‑client relationship, certifies in writing that the training will be an appropriate means to assist the individual in coping with the effects of the autism or to alleviate or eliminate those effects;
  2. the design service is supplied by the federal, provincial or territorial government;
  3. the person who designs the training plan is paid an amount by the federal, provincial or territorial government, or by an organization administering a government program targeted at assisting individuals with autism, to design the training plan; or
  4. the person who acquires the service of designing a training plan is paid an amount by the federal, provincial or territorial government, or by an organization administering a government program targeted at assisting individuals with autism, for the purpose of acquiring the design service. For example, this condition is met if financial assistance is provided by the provincial government to parents of a child with autism for the purpose of acquiring the training plan design service.

The financial assistance described in (c) and (d) only has to subsidize part of the amount paid for the training plan design service in order for either of these final two conditions to be met.

The exemption applies to the initial development and design of the training plan and any subsequent adjustments to the plan.

Example 7

In March 2014, a behavioral consultant designs a training plan to be provided to the parents of a child with autism. Under a separate agreement, the parents also hire a behavioral interventionist to give the training outlined in the training plan to the child. The plan’s specially designed training will assist the child in coping with the autism. The behavioral consultant receives payment from the provincial government for the training plan design services. The supply of the design services by the behavioral consultant is exempt from the GST/HST.

Example 8

The parents of a child with autism receive an amount from the provincial government to assist them in getting help for their child to deal with the autism. On February 18, 2014, the parents use some of the funds to acquire the services of a behavioral consultant. The consultant’s services include designing a training plan for training that is specially designed to help the child cope with autism and to train the parents in implementing the plan. The supply of the design services, including the training of the parents, is exempt from the GST/HST.

Supplies made after February 11, 2014

Prior to February 12, 2014, a supply of a service of designing a training plan was subject to the GST/HST, and GST/HST registrants were required to collect tax on the consideration paid, or payable, for such supplies.

If a supplier that is a GST/HST registrant has charged the GST/HST on supplies of training plan design services made after February 11, 2014, which are exempt, the supplier may refund or credit the tax to the purchaser. A supplier who refunds or credits the amounts collected as GST/HST must do so within two years after the day the amount was charged or collected and must provide the purchaser with a credit note containing prescribed information.

Alternatively, purchasers who have paid an amount as GST/HST on such exempt supplies may claim a rebate of the tax paid using Form GST189, General Application for Rebate of the GST/HST. The time limit to apply for this rebate is two years after the day the purchaser paid the amount. For more information, see GST/HST Memorandum 12.2, Refund, Adjustment, or Credit of the GST/HST under Section 232 of the Excise Tax Act, and Guide RC4033, General Application for GST/HST Rebates.

Suppliers who are registered may have to consider whether they can, or must, de‑register from the GST/HST. For information regarding de‑registration and related obligations and entitlements, see Guide RC4022 General Information for GST/HST Registrants.

Other exemptions from the GST/HST

Other provisions in the Excise Tax Act may also exempt training and other services provided to an individual with autism.

For example, services to assist children and adults with autism are generally exempt if they are:

Further information

All GST/HST technical publications are available on the CRA website at www.cra.gc.ca/gsthsttech.

To make an enquiry on the GST/HST by telephone, call one of the following numbers:

  • for general enquiries, call the Business Enquiries line at 1‑800‑959‑5525;
  • for technical enquiries, call 1‑800‑959‑8287.

If you are located in Quebec, contact Revenu Québec at 1‑800‑567‑4692 or visit their website at www.revenuquebec.ca.

This info sheet does not replace the law found in the Excise Tax Act (the Act) and its regulations; it is provided for your reference. As it may not completely address your particular operation, you may wish to refer to the Act or appropriate regulation, or contact any GST/HST rulings centre for additional information. A ruling should be requested for certainty in respect of any particular GST/HST matter. Pamphlet RC4405, GST/HST Rulings – Experts in GST/HST Legislation, explains how to obtain a ruling and lists the GST/HST rulings centres.

Reference in this publication is made to supplies that are subject to the GST or the HST. The HST applies in the participating provinces at the following rates: 13% in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador, 14% in Prince Edward Island and 15% in Nova Scotia. The GST applies in the rest of Canada at the rate of 5%. If you are uncertain as to whether a supply is made in a participating province, refer to GST/HST Technical Information Bulletin B‑103, Harmonized Sales Tax – Place of Supply Rules for Determining Whether a Supply is Made in a Province.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: