Complementary health services are GST-free if they are:
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Chinese herbal medicine supplied as part of a GST-free acupuncture service
A Chinese herbal medicine preparation supplied by an acupuncturist in the course of an acupuncture service is GST-free if it is:
A Chinese herbal medicine preparation supplied by a Chinese herbal medicine practitioner during a consultation is GST-free only if it is completely used or consumed during the consultation.
If the medicine is only partially used or consumed during the consultation, only that used or consumed portion that is essential for treating that patient during that particular consultation will be considered GST-free.
Chinese herbal medicine supplied by a recognised professional in both acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal medicine
A person may be a recognised professional in more than one of the services listed in the GST act, and may be supplying services that are a combination of more than one of those services.
Where a recognised professional in both acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal medicine supplies a patient with an individually customised herbal preparation in the course of making a GST-free supply of a combination of these services, the preparation is GST-free if it is supplied at the premises where the treatment is supplied.
It does not matter where the customised Chinese herbal medicine preparation is consumed.
Goods supplied as part of a GST-free herbal medicine service or a GST-free naturopathy service
Goods supplied by a herbal medicine practitioner or a naturopath during a consultation is GST-free only if it is completely used or consumed during the consultation.
If the goods are only partially used or consumed during the consultation, only that used or consumed portion that is essential for treating that patient during that particular consultation will be considered GST-free.
An importation of Chinese herbs is non-taxable only if it would have been GST-free if supplied in Australia. Since most supplies of Chinese medicinal dried herbs in Australia are taxable supplies, most importations are taxable importations.
However, a small number of Chinese dried herbs have culinary (food) uses as well as medicinal uses. Herbs with food uses are those that are generally accepted as food or as an ingredient for food or beverages.
Common examples of herbs with food uses are lotus seeds, red dates, longan fruit, tangerine peel, sweet almond seeds and jasmine tea leaves. A supply of such herbs as an ingredient for food or beverages is a GST-free supply of food and therefore a non-taxable importation.
However, it should be noted that:
* The importation of such herbs is a taxable importation as their supply within Australia is not GST-free.