Part 2
Overview: Amendments To The Excise Tax Act (GST/HST Measures)

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Part 2

A. Improving the Application of the GST/HST to the Health Care Sector

Designing Training for Individuals with a Disorder or Disability

A GST/HST exemption is provided for training that is specially designed to assist individuals with a disorder or disability in coping with the effects of the disorder or disability or to alleviate or eliminate those effects. In many instances, an individualized training plan is prepared that sets the specific needs and training objectives for the individual. The current GST/HST exemption for specialized training does not cover the services of designing such a training plan.

To better meet the health care needs of Canadians, this measure provides that the GST/HST exemption for specially designed training be expanded to also exempt the services of designing such training.

This measure applies to supplies made after February 11, 2014.

Acupuncturists' and Naturopathic Doctors' Services

The professional services of acupuncturists and naturopathic doctors are now regulated as a health profession in at least five provinces. Accordingly, this measure adds acupuncturists and naturopathic doctors to the list of health care practitioners whose professional services rendered to individuals are exempt from the GST/HST. The new exemption only applies to the professional services of acupuncture and naturopathy rendered by provincially recognized acupuncturists and naturopathic doctors.

This measure applies to supplies made after February 11, 2014.

Eyewear Specially Designed to Electronically Enhance the Vision of Individuals with Vision Impairment

The list of medical and assistive devices eligible for zero-rating includes corrective eyeglasses and contact lenses sold on the written order of a person authorized under provincial law to issue such an order.

Corrective eyewear that is specially designed to electronically enhance the vision of individuals with vision impairment does not qualify under the existing zero-rating provision for corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses, although it serves the same purpose of correcting a defect of vision. To better meet the health care needs of Canadians, this measure provides that eyewear specially designed to treat or correct a defect of vision by electronic means, if supplied on the written order of a physician or optometrist, is added to the list of GST/HST zero-rated medical and assistive devices.

This measure applies to supplies made after February 11, 2014.

B. GST/HST Election for Closely Related Persons

This measure extends the election that allows members of a closely-related group engaged exclusively in commercial activities to not account for GST/HST on certain supplies between them to newly created members of the group. A closely related group is generally a group of corporations or partnerships with a degree of common ownership of at least 90 per cent. This measure also introduces joint and several (or solidary) liability for the parties to such an election for any GST/HST liability on those supplies and adds a requirement to file such an election with the Canada Revenue Agency.

This measure will generally apply as of January 1, 2015.

C. Strengthening Compliance with GST/HST Registration

In an effort to strengthen GST/HST compliance and help the Canada Revenue Agency combat the underground economy, this measure gives the Minister of National Revenue the discretionary authority to register a person for GST/HST purposes where the person fails to comply with the requirement to apply for registration, even after having been notified by the Canada Revenue Agency of that requirement.

This measure applies on Royal Assent.

D. Combating Tax Non-compliance

This measure clarifies and strengthens the Canada Revenue Agency's ability to share information with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada. This measure is consequential to amendments to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act to strengthen Canada's anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regime.

Similar amendments are made to the Income Tax Act and Excise Act, 2001.

This measure applies on Royal Assent.

Part 2 (Other)

A. GST/HST on Paid Parking

This measure provides a GST/HST exemption for supplies of hospital parking by public sector bodies (PSBs) for patients and visitors. This exemption will apply in respect of parking lots and parking spaces that are reserved for or primarily for the use of individuals accessing a public hospital. Draft legislative proposals were released for comments on January 24, 2014.

This measure also, as announced in Economic Action Plan 2013, clarifies that the special GST/HST exemption for charity parking does not apply to parking provided by a charity set up or used by certain PSBs and that the GST/HST exemption for supplies by a charity of a property, when all or substantially all of the supplies of the property are made for free, does not apply to paid parking.

The amendments in respect of the provision of an exemption for supplies of hospital parking for patients and visitors generally apply to supplies made after January 24, 2014. The amendments clarifying the application of GST/HST to supplies of paid parking by a charity in certain circumstances apply to supplies made after March 21, 2013.

B. International Electronic Funds Transfers

The Economic Action Plan 2013 announced that certain financial intermediaries will be required under the Income Tax Act to report to the Canada Revenue Agency international electronic funds transfers of $10,000 or more. This measure clarifies that those reports may be used for the purposes of the administration of the GST/HST. Draft legislative proposals were released for comment on January 9, 2014.

This amendment is consequential to amendments to the Income Tax Act. Similar amendments are also made to the Excise Act, 2001 and Air Travellers Security Charge Act.

This measure applies as of January 1, 2015.

C. Offshore Tax Informant Program

Under the Offshore Tax Informant Program, originally announced in Economic Action Plan 2013, the Canada Revenue Agency will pay rewards to individuals who provide information relating to major international tax non-compliance where that information leads to the collection of tax. This measure permits the sharing of GST/HST information for the purposes of the administration by the Canada Revenue Agency of this Program and defers payments to provinces for assessed taxes until those taxes have been collected.

Similar amendments are made to the Income Tax Act and Excise Act, 2001.

This measure applies on Royal Assent.

D. Serious Offences

This measure amends the GST/HST confidential information provisions to permit the disclosure of confidential information to an appropriate police organization where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the information would be relevant to the investigation of a serious criminal offence, including money laundering. Draft legislative proposals were released for comment on July 12, 2013.

Similar amendments are made to the Income Tax Act and Excise Act, 2001.

This measure applies on Royal Assent.

E. Amendments to Prevent Input Tax Credit Claims that Exceed Tax Actually Paid

Under the Excise Tax Act, businesses can generally claim input tax credits to recover any GST/HST that they pay to acquire property or services for use in their commercial activities. However, in a recent decision by the Tax Court of Canada, a business was allowed to claim input tax credits in respect of amounts of GST that the business had already recovered from suppliers through credit notes.

This measure clarifies that a person cannot claim input tax credits in respect of an amount of GST/HST that has already been recovered by the person from a supplier. Draft legislative proposals were released for comments on January 17, 2014.

This clarifying measure will generally be effective the date the provisions being amended were enacted.

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