By Tolley

The following Value Added Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Doctors
  • Supplies of health and welfare
  • Exempt medical services
  • VAT liability of specific services
  • Standard-rated supplies
  • Zero-rated supplies
  • Care services performed by supplies who are not enrolled on a statutory professional register
  • Supplying health professional staff
  • General practitioners (GP)
  • VAT registered health professionals and VAT recovery
  • Medical practitioners visiting the UK

Supplies of health and welfare

Generally speaking, supplies of services consisting of medical care or health supplies are exempt from VAT. As a result, no VAT is charged on the services provided, but no input tax can be reclaimed on costs associated with the provision of these services. Normally only supplies made by registered health professionals can be exempt from VAT. A ‘health professional’ is anyone who is registered or enrolled as any of the following:

  • medical practitioner
  • optometrist or dispensing optician (see the Opticians guidance note)
  • professional registered under the Health Professions Order 2001. These professionals include arts therapists, biomedical scientists, chiropodists, clinical scientists, dieticians, hearing aid dispensers, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, paramedics, podiatrists, physiotherapists, practitioner psychologists, prosthetists, radiographers, and speech and language therapists (will also include any medical care professionals added to the Order at a future date)
  • osteopath
  • chiropractor
  • nurse, midwife or health visitor
  • hearing aid dispenser
  • dentist, dental hygienist, dental therapist, dental nurse, clinical dental technician, dental technician and an orthodontic therapist
  • pharmacist (see the Pharmacists guidance note)

VATA 1994, Sch 9, Group 7, Item 1(a); SI 2006/1914; SI 2007/206 (both subscription sensitive); 2006/112/EC , Article 132(1)(b), (c), (e); De Voil Indirect Tax Service V6.202, V4.146 (both subscription sensitive); Notice 701/57 ; VATHLT2030

This means that therapists such as acupuncturists, psychologists, hypnotherapists and others who do not have statutory registers, will make supplies that are liable to VAT at the standard rate. However, psychiatrists are qualified medical practitioners and their services are therefore exempt from VAT.

Exempt medical services

If a person is included in one of health professional’s listed above, then the person’s services will be exempt from VAT when the following conditions are satisfied:

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