pay each session only if you feel it was of value
weekends all day
public holidays all day
normal days outside 8am to 5:30pm
added to the regular rates listed above
available at the hourly rate
If you claim an hour of counselling on your tax return, and you're in the 32.5% tax threshold, that’s nearly a one-third tax reduction (about $40 savings for an hour session).
Based on my conversation with the ATO in 2018 August, it is possible to claim counselling services as a tax deduction provided there is reasonable justification for doing so. In my professional opinion, it is claimable in almost every case, though I encourage each person and their accountant to consider whether this applies to them. The basis for the claim could be as follows:
Through provision of these personalised counselling services and inclusion of evidence-based practice, the service provided is intended to assist clients enhance their own wellness in the short and long-term. The increasingly understood biopsychosocial model (Engel, 1977) has encouraged research which demonstrates a connection between mental and physical wellness; the mechanism is explained in part by Oakley (2004). Because of this connection, working on mental wellness through couselling services generally enhances work productivity, reduces sick days, and reduces work absences (Nunes, Richmond, Pampel, Wood, 2017); it also enhances the likelihood that the client will be able to contribute to society in general, and reduces the client’s likelihood of requiring government assisted healthcare (both physical and mental health-related).
Hence, these costs to the client are a viable tax deduction depending on accounting and tax regulations in any given year. You can cite this professional opinion and reference the articles noted above if ever needed as justification.
Getting a rebate may be important for you. However, if you focus on getting the lowest cost, that might be traded for something very important - the value of your results. Research shows that you will get more value if you have a good feeling about the person providing services....... such valuable outcomes can often be much more important than cost. I am a counsellor with specific training in counselling as well as psychology and research, however I am not a registered psychologist. What does this mean for you?
Though I do not have access to Medicare rebates (which require you to get a refarral from a doctor), you can see me without having to see a doctor first, so it may be simpler and a better use of your time - a more direct path to me.
While many counsellors are highly qualified, the government has not included counsellors for Medicare rebates - this continues to be discussed and challenged within the government and professional counselling bodies. If you need a Medicare rebate, you would need to see a doctor and get a formal referral to a registered psychologist which is initially for 6 sessions and then you would see the GP for a review before another 4 with the psychologist (maximum 10 per calendar year).
Psychologists occasionally bulk bill, while many psychologists charge a gap above the rebate for each session (which is understandable, because it is a lot of commitment to training).
Private health extras often pay somewhere between $30 to $80 per session to see a psychologist. More recently, BUPA has agreed that certain counsellors will be included in similar coverage (information link button below). PACFA member counsellors who register can offer funded counselling services form July 2018 onwards. This will provide people with a wider choice of partly funded services. It is anticipated that other health funds will follow because Bupa is one of the private health leaders.