Tax Court of Canada


Taxation

Goods and Services Tax
Services provided by facilities were “personal services” falling within definition of “homemaker services”

CH Ltd. and CT Ltd. were for-profit operators of residences for seniors (facilities). CH Ltd. and CT Ltd. entered into agreements with health authority for provision of services to facility residents. On assessment, claims by CH Ltd. and CT Ltd. for refunds of GST paid in error were denied. CH Ltd. and CT Ltd. claimed for refunds of GST paid in error on supplies of homemaker services provided by third-party contractors in course of operating facilities. Appeals allowed in part. Plain and ordinary meaning of “personal service” would clearly encompass services assistance with activities of daily living such as were provided to residents of both facilities due to their age, infirmity or disability. There was little ambiguity in words “personal service” and ordinary meaning of those words must play dominant role in their interpretation. “Personal service” in definition of “homemaker service” was not restricted to services similar in nature to examples that followed term “household or personal service” in definition provided in Excise Tax Act. Use of specific examples after general term in legislation does not restrict meaning of general term to cases similar to specific examples. Presumption is that in using specific examples, Parliament intended extension of meaning of general term to things that would ordinarily have been seen as not falling within general term. Use of word “or” between “household” and “personal” in term “household or personal service” supports view that Parliament intended to distinguish between household and personal services and intended to include services beyond those ordinarily considered household services. Fact that exemption for homemaker services falls within Part II of Schedule V of Act, which deals with health care services, is further contextual support for conclusion that assistance provided to elderly or infirm persons with activities of daily living would be included in concept of “personal service”, and would support conclusion that examples used in definition of “homemaker service” were included because they might not otherwise be considered as health care services. Contracts between third-party contractors and facilities clearly provided for supply of services including care services, hospitality services and housekeeping services. Services in issue were provided to residents in their place of residence, regardless of whether they were provided inside their units or rooms in other areas of premises. Since services provided by facilities were “personal services” falling within definition of “homemaker services”, it would follow that program under which health authority paid for those personal care services would be program in respect to homemaker services. Subparagraph 13(1)(b)(ii) of Act does not require that sole purpose of program under which funding is provided to fund homemaker services. It was only necessary to show connection between provincial continuing care program and provision of homemaker services by third-party contractors. Personal care services at facilities were funded as part of continuing care program partly administered by health authority. Health authority was administering government program in respect of homemaker services.

Courtyard Terrace Assisted Living Residence Ltd. v. R. (Nov. 5, 2015, T.C.C. [General Procedure], B. Paris J., File No. 2011-3419(GST)G, 2011-3420(GST)G) 259 A.C.W.S. (3d) 788.

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