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Recover HST On Homemaker Services Provided To Senior Citizens In Their Own Homes

by Lorne Lebow – CPA, CA, LPA, CA-CBV, DIFA
Stern Cohen LLP Partner

Many seniors receive home care provided by private agencies. Did you know that under certain circumstances these services can be exempt from HST? Canada Revenue Agency issued a GST/HST Interpretation in September, 2013 which clarifies their position on this issue (see http://www.budget.gc.ca/2013/doc/plan/anx2-eng.html )

Homemaker services are defined as assistance with cleaning, meal preparation, laundry, child care, personal hygiene activities and routine activities of daily living. These services are HST exempt when they are supplied by or subsidized by an organization administering a government or municipal program such as CCAC (Community Care Access Centre).

The CRA interpretation continues to explain that when an individual receives HST exempt homemaker services provided by CCAC, the exemption also applies to additional unsubsidized homemaker services when the service is rendered to an individual in the individual’s place of residence.

So as long as the senior is receiving homemaker services provided by CCAC, all homemaker services, even those provided by private agencies, are HST exempt. If you contact the agency and tell them that services are also being provided by CCAC, they should not charge the HST.

If you have already paid HST on homemaker services under the circumstances outlined above, we can help you recover this HST “paid in error”. Note: For homemaker services, such as cleaning, laundering, meal preparation and child care one can apply to the CRA for a rebate going back two years. For personal care services, such as bathing, feeding, and assistance with dressing and taking medication one can apply to the CRA for a rebate going back to March 21, 2013.

Please contact Lorne Lebow at Stern Cohen LLP if you wish to discuss this further.