Commentary and Curriculum
for Massage Therapists
How Vulnerable is the Massage Therapy
Profession to Economic Changes?
Massage Therapist Incomes and Injuries
Health Care: Are We In or Are We Out?
Extended Health Plans: Are We Too Reliant?
Massage Franchises and Spas are Affecting Massage Therapy
Some Good News for
HST Could Bring Dis-Harmony
Posted: April 20, 2009
As I mentioned in the September 29th, 2008 post, there was
mounting pressure for the Ontario government to combine
Government Sales Tax (GST) and Provincial Sales Tax (PST).
Here's the reprint if you missed it:
Manufacturers and Exporters and the Retail Council of Canada are
strongly urging the government to harmonize government sales tax
(GST) and provincial sales tax (PST). This already exists in a
number of provinces, and means that massage therapy services of
therapists earning above $30,000/year in much of Canada would be
subject to 13% taxes.
Massage Therapy services are not exempt because it does not meet
the criteria of a) covered under provincial medicare in two or
more provinces or b) regulated in 5 or more provinces (we
currently have 3 regulated provinces).
"Harmonization of the provincial retail sales taxes (PST)
with the GST in the remaining provinces of British Columbia,
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island may be
emerging as a real possibility. Some commentators have suggested
that the likelihood of some form of harmonization in those
provinces in the next two to three years has been crystallized
by a combination of political and economic factors--the rise in
the Canadian dollar, the challenges faced by Canadian
manufacturers and exporters, and GST rate reductions."1
What does the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) mean for massage
practitioners? The client/patient will pay more, possibly affecting their utilization of massage
therapy. In Canada comparable services - chiropractic and physiotherapy
exempt from GST, which puts massage therapy at a decided
I suspect many therapists would be afraid to hike
their rates and will instead absorb the tax into existing fees...reducing
their profit. A direct impact to their bottom line.
This rumour has become fact and will materialize in July 2010.
This tax is beneficial for manufacturers to reclaim more of the tax
they must remit to the government, but it could have a hard
impact on small businesses with meagre profit margins...and their
Our main focus must be to ensure at least two more provinces are
regulated within the next year, thus allowing RMTs to opt out of HST
(as the mid-wives did a few years before). In the meantime, the Ontario Massage Therapist
Association (OMTA) has launched a letter-writing campaign for
RMTs and their patients/clients to exempt HST from RMT services.
Please visit www.omta.com and
click "Take Action Now: Fight the HST" to add your energy to the
Even if you don't live in Ontario, this ramping up of taxes has
implications for your business as well. Please join in the
effort...at the very least government officials will understand
how a small, soft-spoken profession can pack a punch!
© 2009, Donald Q. Dillon, RMT. All Rights
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