2.a.9. Is massage therapy GST-free?
Non-interpretative – straight application of the law.
The question requires a consideration of sections 38-7 and 38-10.
Massage therapy may be GST-free if supplied by a *medical practitioner pursuant to section 38-7 provided all the elements of that section are satisfied (see Issue 1.a.9 of this document) and the practitioner is skilled in the provision of that service.
As to whether massage therapy by other health professionals will be GST-free initially depends on whether the treatment is within a service of a kind specified in the Table at section 38-10(1). Those services in the Table which may include massage therapy as being the entire supply is ‘Physiotherapy’ and those which may include massage therapy as a component of the overall supply include ‘Acupuncture’, ‘Chiropractic’, ‘Nursing’, ‘Occupational therapy’, ‘Osteopathy’, ‘Naturopathy’ and ‘Physiotherapy’.
In order to be GST-free, all of the elements of section 38-10 must be satisfied. In particular the supply must generally be accepted in the profession associated with the service as being necessary for the appropriate treatment of that particular patient by that recognised professional (bearing in mind their training in providing massage therapy).
In order for massage therapy per se to be added to the Table, a Regulation would need to issue and no such regulation is intended at this point in time.