You cannot rely on this record in your tax affairs. It is not binding and provides you with no protection (including from any underpaid tax, penalty or interest). In addition, this record is not an authority for the purposes of establishing a reasonably arguable position for you to apply to your own circumstances. For more information on the status of edited versions of private advice and reasons we publish them, see PS LA 2008/4.

Edited version of your written advice

Authorisation Number: 1051257977880

Date of advice: 28 July 2017


Subject: GST and physiotherapy

Question 1

Are the physiotherapy services provided by you to patients in various circumstances as outlined below, GST free pursuant to Item 17 of section 38-10(1) of A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999?


Yes, where the requirements of section 38-10 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) 1999 (GST Act) are met and the treatment is accepted in the relevant health profession as necessary and appropriate to treat the patient or recipient of the service.

This ruling applies for the following periods:

The scheme commences no earlier than one month after the ruling is issued.

Relevant facts and circumstances

This ruling is based on the facts stated in the description of the scheme that is set out below. If your circumstances are materially different from these facts, this ruling has no effect and you cannot rely on it. The fact sheet has more information about relying on your private ruling.

You are registered for goods and services tax (GST).

You conduct a physiotherapy practice which is staffed by a number of physiotherapists who are qualified and registered with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). You also employ a few exercise physiologists who are registered with the appropriate agency.

You provide rehabilitation treatment through exercise programming.

Clients are referred by surgeons and other specialist doctors and a complete medical history is recorded.

Clients are assessed and appropriate treatment is prescribed.

Treatment when required is provided in the therapy facility located at the premises.

The treatment is under supervision of a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist with a physiotherapist in attendance at all times.

The treatment is provided by registered health professionals and not available to the public unless assessed by a health professional.

The services are provided to an individual and charged to the individual who is the recipient of the supply.

Services provided on behalf of a third party for example an employer or an insurance company are treated as taxable.

Relevant legislative provisions

A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

    ● Sub section 38-10

    ● Sub section 38-10 Item 17

    ● Section 195-1.

Reasons for decision

Subsection 38-10(1) of the GST Act provides that a supply of a health service, other than a medical service, is GST-free if:

        (1) A supply is GST-free if:

            (a) it is a service of a kind specified in the table in this subsection, or of a kind specified in the regulations; and

            (b) the supplier is a *recognised professional in relation to the supply of services of that kind; and

            (c) the supply would generally be accepted, in the profession associated with supplying services of that kind, as being necessary for the appropriate treatment of the *recipient of the supply.'

For the purposes of paragraph 38-10(1)(a) of the GST Act, the service must be of a kind specified in the table in subsection 3810(1) of the GST Act. The supply of health service by you is listed in the table contained in subsection 38-10(1) of the GST Act.

For the purposes of paragraph 38-10(1)(b) of the GST Act, a recognised professional must provide the service. The term 'recognised professional' is defined in section 195-1 of the GST Act. As you are a registered health professional under your relevant state legislation, you are a recognised professional for the purposes of paragraph 38-10(1)(b) of the GST Act.

For the purposes of paragraph 38-10(1)(c) of the GST Act, the terms 'appropriate treatment' and 'generally accepted' are not defined in the GST Act.

It is considered that 'appropriate treatment' will be established where the recognised professional assesses the recipient's state of health and determines a process to pursue in order to preserve, restore or improve, the physical or psychological wellbeing of that recipient insofar as that recognised professional's particular area of training allows, and will include subsequent supplies for the determined process. 'Appropriate treatment' includes the concept of preventative medicine.

In addition, the treatment must be generally accepted in the relevant profession as being necessary. The particular service being provided by the recognised professional, and the circumstances in which it is provided, must be generally accepted by the relevant profession.