Hospital parking tax break proposed for patients, visitors

The federal Finance Department is proposing to soften part of the 2013 budget that ended a special tax break for non-profit parking lots and exempt hospital parking fees from the GST or HST.

But 2013 budget's end to tax exemption for lots run by charities, public institutions will go ahead

The federal Finance Department is proposing to a GST/HST exemption on fees for parking at hospitals, softening a measure in last year's budget that ended a special tax break for parking lots run by charities or non-profit institutions, such as hospitals, libraries and universities. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

The federal Finance Department is proposing to soften part of the 2013 budget and exempt hospital parking fees from the GST or HST.

Last year's budget ended a special tax break on parking fees at public institutions where the parking lot was run by a non-profit partner.

The government said the change was intended to ensure consistent tax treatment.

Now, however, Finance is proposing a new loophole for parking fees paid by hospital patients and visitors.

It will go ahead with amendments to eliminate the tax exemption for parking provided by a charity set up or used by a municipality, university, public college or school.

The department says it will accept public comments on the proposal until Feb. 24.