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CRA: Medical on-call fees are taxable

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In Excise and GST/HST News No. 101 the CRA clarified that in its view doctors/dentists and other medical practitioners must charge GST/HST on their on-call fees. 


Where a medical practitioner enters into an agreement with a health care facility to be on-call the compensation is usually specified to consist of a set fee for being on call plus additional fees if the medical practitioner has to intervene in patient care if and when called upon during their on-call period. 


The CRA’s position is that an agreement along the lines described above is actually an agreement by the medical practitioner to make two separate supplies to the health care facility:

1)    A supply of on-call services.

2)    A supply of health care services if and when called upon. 


Because the two supplies are separate, they must be considered separately to determine whether they are taxable or exempt supplies for GST/HST purposes. 


While the CRA generally takes the view that the supply of health care services would be considered an exempt supply (i.e. not subject to GST/HST), the CRA has taken the view that the supply of on-call services does not qualify as an exempt health care service.


Accordingly, in some cases, on-call services will be considered taxable supplies for GST/HST purposes – meaning that medical practitioners who are or should be registered for GST/HST are technically required to charge the health care facility GST/HST at the appropriate rate for the on-call fees they earn – whether or not they are actually called upon to provide health care services.   


The CRA notes, however, that if the on-call fees are payable or reimbursed by a provincial government under a provincial health-care plan (like OHIP) the on-call fees might be considered exempt. 


If you are a medical practitioner or health-care facility and you are paying or thinking of paying on-call fees, you should consider getting legal advice on your services agreement to ensure that the GST/HST consequences are as you expect. 


Click below for a link to Excise and GST/HST News No. 101 from the CRA website:

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