38 | Allied Health Reports and GST
Are allied health reports GST-free? Usually not, but under specific circumstances they are.
Allied Health Reports and GST
Medical practitioners write medical reports and we covered those in article 36. But what is the GST status of reports written by allied health professionals?
All legal references in this article are to the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 – in short GST Act – unless otherwise specified.
Reports in Hospitals, Aged Care or Disability
If allied health professionals write reports as part of a hospital treatment, aged care or disability support service, s38-15 to s38-40 determine whether the service is GST-free or not.
Each of these sections refer to specific health legislation – either the Private Health Insurance Act 2007 for hospital treatments or the Aged Care Act 1997 for aged care or the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 for NDIS or the Disability Services Act 1986 for other disability support or a writing by the Health Minister.
So to determine the GST status of any reports in hospitals, aged care or disability – be they medical or allied health reports – you need to refer to the relevant section of the GST Act plus the specific legislation the relevant section refers to.
Other Health Reports
But what about allied health reports written outside of hospitals, aged care and disability support? There is no specific guidance – neither in the GST Act nor from the ATO.
And so you have three options. You either assume that the ATO directive for medical reports covers allied health reports as. well. Or you apply the rules for other health services to allied health reports. Or you assume that both approaches apply and this is what we do.
Allied health reports tend to be subject to GST since often written for other purposes than the actual treatment. But they are GST-free if one of the following applies.
- The allied health report is covered by Medicare.
- A GP or other medical practitioner or approved pathology practitioner needs the report to provide their GST-free medical service.
- A specified profession (s38-10) documents and then follows a process for appropriate treatment and the recipient of the supply is the patient or a party listed in s38-60.
So this the GST-status of allied health reports in a nutshell. Let’s go through this in more detail.
We assume that the ATO’s directive regarding medical reports also applies to allied health reports and that otherwise the general rules in s38-10 for other health services apply. And so based on this assumption the following applies:
Medical Reports = Allied Health Reports
You apply the rules for medical reports to allied health reports.
This option works for you if the report is covered by Medicare – Medicare trumps all. Or otherwise if you report to a medical or approved pathology practitioner.
Test # 1 Covered by Medicare
Does Medicare pay for the report? As always, Medicare is your get-out-of-jail card. Anything covered by Medicare is GST-free. If it isn’t, you keep going.
Test # 3 Part of a GST-free Medical Service
Is the report an ordinary and natural part of a GST-free medical service? The emphasis is on medical. The report must be part of a GST-free medial service.
So you need the involvment of a medical or an approved pathology practioner or another allied health professional whose service is covered by Medicare and hence counts as a medical service.
Other Health Services Rules Apply
Your other option is to apply the rules for allied health services to allied health reports. Allied health services are GST-free if they meet all four conditions in s38-10. You might remember these from article 37.
So if you are the one writing the report, your profession must be on the list in s38-10. You must be a recognised professional. The report must be accepted in the profession as necessary for appropriate treatment. And it must the patient or a s38-60 payer who is the recipient of the supply aka pays for the report.
So under these very specific circumstances an allied health report would be GST-free. But bear in mind that most allied health reports are written for insurance, legal or other purposes and so are subject to GST.
Disclaimer: numba does not provide specific financial or tax advice in this article. All information on this website is of a general nature only. It might no longer be up to date or correct. You should contact us directly or seek other accredited tax advice when considering whether the information is suitable to your circumstances.
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Last Updated on 14 April 2019
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