Did you know that the government of Canada is enforcing sales tax on psychotherapy?
Adding tax to psychotherapy makes emotional/mental health services more expensive and less accessible to Canadians. HST makes psychotherapy 13% more expensive. That extra cost creates a barrier to psychotherapy provided by Registered Psychotherapists, the emotional and mental health professionals trained to deliver this service. At an average session rate of $150, a client pays for an extra session in HST costs alone after only 9 sessions. HST adds an additional $19.50 to each session. Why not let clients have that tenth session instead?
Why is this Important?
Registered Psychotherapists are the only emotional/mental health professionals in Ontario required to collect HST! Other professionals in Ontario regulated to provide psychotherapy include: Registered Psychologists, Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Doctors, Nurses and Psychiatrists. All of these professions are exempt from charging HST. But not Registered Psychotherapists (RPs). This discrepancy makes no sense. RPs are specifically trained to deliver psychotherapy.
There are over 7,000 RPs in Ontario alone. This means the help is available. Yet Registered Psychotherapists are out of reach for so many people due to the added expense of HST. That expense can mean the difference between getting much-needed support or allowing emotional/mental health issues to go untreated.
In order to remove the HST for RPs, the Ministry of Finance required 5 provinces to regulate the profession first. After the 5th province regulated (in April 2019), former Finance Minister Bill Morneau, rejected the removal of HST, citing differences in regulated titles among the provinces. Some provinces call the service psychotherapy, while others call it counselling. But the government had not made these titles a requirement for HST removal.
Emotional/mental health issues used to affect 1 in 5 Canadians. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, this figure has already increased to 1 in 4. The pandemic and had a devastating financial and emotional impact on many Canadians. The government has indicated a desire to provide mental health resources to Canadians to help. One simple way to support Canadians would be to remove this financial barrier to mental health services. Increased access to emotional/mental health services is needed now more than ever.
Our new Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, is in a position to exempt RPs and other regulated psychotherapy professionals from charging HST, like our colleagues who have already been exempted.
To stay informed and up to date on our advocacy efforts, please visit our website.
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