2.a.1. Are the services of psychotherapists and psychoanalysts GST-free?
This issue is a public ruling for the purposes of section 105-60 of Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953.
This question focuses on the requirement of ‘services of a kind’in relation to those services listed in section 38-10(1)(a) and the definition of *recognised professional.
Services of a kind
Psychotherapy and psychoanalysis are not services of a kind specified in the Table for section 38-10(1)(a). However, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis may be considered to be techniques of one or more of the services listed in that Table.
If the psychotherapy and psychoanalysis is supplied by a recognised professional in relation to one of the listed services in the Table (for example a psychologist), and it is generally accepted in that profession as being necessary for the appropriate treatment of the recipient of the supply then it will be GST-free.
Paragraph (a) of the definition of ‘*recognised professional’in section 195-1 provides that a person is a recognised professional in relation to the supply of the service of a kind specified in the Table if the service is supplied in a State or Territory in which the person has a permission or approval, or is registered, under a State law or a Territory law prohibiting the supply of services of that kind without such permission, approval or registration. It is considered that ‘prohibiting’ includes a law which does not allow a person to hold themselves out as a provider of certain services as governed by that relevant law.
Under the relevant State and Territory Acts dealing with psychology, a practitioner of psychology must be registered under that relevant Act. Therefore, it is considered that only a person registered for the provision of psychology under the relevant Act will be a *recognised professional in relation to psychology.
Psychotherapy and psychoanalysis may also be GST-free if provided by a *medical practitioner trained in these procedures (for example a psychiatrist) and either a Medicare benefit is payable or the service is generally accepted in the medical profession as being necessary for the appropriate treatment of the *recipient of the supply under section 38-7 of the GST Act.