How this document should be used

This document is a list of major issues and subsidiary questions, which have been collated as a result of consultations with the Health sector. The document was then refined using input from the Health Consultative Committee. These discussions and consultations have been instrumental in the ATO undertaking a technical clearance process bearing in mind the intention of the policy for each major issue and outlining the ATO’s position for each subsidiary question.

The issues raised cover a number of the sections in subdivision 38-B-Health of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (GST Act). These sections include: 38-7 Medical services, 38-10 Other health services, 38-20 Hospital treatment, 38-45 Medical aids and appliances, 38-47 Other GST-free health goods. Other issues discuss GST general concepts and related questions.

This document does not cover section 38-38 which is about disability supports provided to National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants. For information on this section see the fact sheet, GST and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The format of the log contains an explanation of the relevant section followed by specific questions and answers. It should be noted that whilst health specific sections are addressed, the general provisions of the GST Act also need to be considered.

The ATO’s position outlined in each subsidiary question is specific to that question. Each response should be considered as pertaining to the particular circumstances described in the question and should not be viewed as a generic position held by the ATO. Where organisations find that the question does not fit the unique circumstances as outlined then it is important that further clarification is sought from the ATO. This would best be done by writing to the ATO at:

Australian Taxation Office
PO Box 3524
Albury  NSW  2640

There are also a number of issues, which will require the publication of separate rulings. As these rulings become available they will be published on the ATO’s website

Unless otherwise stated, all references to sections herein are references to sections of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999.

Note: The asterisks, which appear in this document, identify that the following word or words are defined terms within the GST Act.

Issue 1

Medical services

Issue 2

Other health services

Issue 3

Hospital treatment

Issue 4

Medical aids and appliances

Issue 5

Other GST-free goods

Issue 6

Private health insurance and ambulance subscriptions

Issue 7

General concepts from A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

    Last modified: 16 Oct 2013QC 16330