Revenue Canada considers the laser eye procedure known as photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) to be an exempt health care service under section 5 of Part II of Schedule V to the Excise Tax Act. The surgery corrects defects in vision, and is not considered cosmetic for the purposes of this provision of the Act. Provincial health care plans do not cover PRK, and therefore patients are required to pay for the surgery themselves.
GST does not apply to the amount invoiced for the surgery. Separate charges for the facility where the service is supplied may be billed to patients and are also GST-exempt. Practitioners should not charge the GST on these amounts, nor should they claim input tax credits for GST paid on their inputs used to supply the services.
Practitioners who perform the surgery and have already claimed input tax credits should write to their local Revenue Canada tax services office to request an adjustment to their GST claim.