Some of the goods and services used by persons with disabilities that are exempt supplies or zero-rated supplies for purposes of the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST). This means you will not pay GST/HST on these goods and services.
If you paid GST/HST in error, you can ask the supplier for a refund or credit instead of applying for a rebate from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
If the supplier gives you a refund or credit, you cannot get a rebate from the CRA.
If you cannot get a refund or credit from the supplier (for example, if the supplier refuses to refund the amount or goes out of business), you can apply to the CRA for a rebate by sending Form GST189, General Application for Rebate of GST/HST.
Special rules apply for specially equipped motor vehicles.
For more information, call 1-800-959-5525.
Medical and disability-related services
Health care services
You do not have to pay GST/HST for certain health care services. For example, you do not have to pay GST/HST on physiotherapy services provided to you by a physiotherapist.
Home care services
You do not have to pay GST/HST for home care services provided in your place of residence if they are publicly subsidized or funded.
Home care services are household or personal care services provided to you in your home that are required because of your age, infirmity, or disability. These household services include help to maintain your home, such as cleaning, laundering, meal preparation, and child care. Personal care services include help with personal care such as bathing, feeding, dressing and taking medication.
If you receive exempt home care services, any extra home care services you receive will also be exempt.
For more information, see the GST/HST Info Sheet GI-166, Application of the GST/HST to Home Care Services.
Care and supervision services
You do not have to pay GST/HST for services of providing care and supervision to a person who is limited in taking care of himself or herself because of an impairment in physical or mental functions.
This exemption applies to services, such as daytime care when the primary caregiver is absent, provided mainly in the supplier’s establishment.
Also, you do not have to pay GST/HST for services of providing care, supervision, and a place of residence to a person with a disability, in an establishment run by the supplier for the purpose of providing such services (for example, care in a group home).
A public sector body such as a charity, non-profit organization, or government may run a program to provide prepared meals to seniors or persons with disabilities in their home. You do not have to pay GST/HST when you get food and beverages under these programs.
You do not have to pay GST/HST for recreational programs offered by a public sector body that are mainly for persons with disabilities. Recreational programs may include:
- board and lodging at recreational camps or similar places
- recreational services, including those continually offered at a community centre.
For more information, see GST/HST Info Sheet GI-037, Children’s Camps Operated by Public Sector Bodies.
You do not have to pay GST/HST for training services to help a person with a disability cope with his or her disorder or disability. Also, you do not have to pay GST/HST for the service of designing the training plans.
For more information, see Excise and GST/HST Info Sheet GI-112, Specially Designed Training to Assist Individuals with a Disorder or Disability and Excise and GST/HST Info Sheet GI-113, Specially Designed Training to Assist Individuals with Autism.
Hospital parking for patients and visitors
You may not have to pay GST/HST for parking provided by public hospitals. The parking has to be intended for patients and visitors.
For more information, see Excise and GST/HST News - No. 91.
Medical devices and supplies
You do not have to pay GST/HST on certain medical devices and supplies (because they are taxable at 0%), including the following:
- wheelchairs, wheelchair lifts, walkers, and similar aids to locomotion that are specially designed for persons with disabilities
- hearing aids
- eyeglasses or contact lenses – prescription by an eye care professional needed
- electronic eyewear designed to correct a vision impairment – prescription by a medical doctor or optometrist needed;
- selector control devices specially designed to allow persons with disabilities to select, switch on, or control household, industrial, or office equipment
- toilet seats, bath seats, shower seats or commode chairs specially designed for persons with disabilities
- patient lifts specially designed to move persons with disabilities
- canes or crutches specially designed for persons with disabilities
- clothing specially designed for use by persons with disabilities – prescription needed
- incontinence products specially designed for persons with disabilities
- intermittent urinary catheters for persons with disabilities (paid after March 22, 2016) – prescription needed
- auxiliary driving controls designed to allow persons with disabilities to drive the vehicle
- services of modifying a motor vehicle to adapt it for transporting persons using a wheelchair
- animals that are or will be trained to help persons with disabilities, including the service of training these persons to use such animals. The animal and the service has to be supplied by an organization that provides specially trained animals
- blood coagulation monitors or meters including certain disposable peripherals
- insulin pens and insulin pen needles (paid after March 22, 2016)
For the GST/HST, a medical doctor, an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist and a registered nurse can give a prescription.
Specially equipped motor vehicles
If you buy from a dealer a new or used qualifying motor vehicle that is already equipped with either auxiliary driving controls to allow a person with a disability to drive the vehicle, or with a device designed to allow a wheelchair to be placed in the vehicle without having to collapse the wheelchair, GST/HST applies to the purchase price of the vehicle.
Generally, you can get a rebate for the GST/HST paid on the part of the purchase price that relates to modifying the qualifying vehicle and installing these devices, either from the supplier or by sending a Form GST518, GST/HST Specially Equipped Motor Vehicle Rebate Application.
The rebate is also available if you paid GST/HST on modifications that were made to specially equip your vehicle outside of Canada.
For more information, see Excise and GST/HST News – No. 83.
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