Hospitals and health institutions

By Tolley

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

  • Hospitals and health institutions
  • Qualifying institutions
  • Care and treatment
  • Other supplies that are exempt from VAT
  • Goods supplied to a disabled person
  • VAT registration

Please note that eligible NHS bodies will provide the majority of their healthcare services under statutory regulation and these activities are treated as non-business activities for VAT purposes. This guidance note deals with the VAT treatment of business activities undertaken by these types of organisations. Please see the NHS bodies ― recovering input tax incurred on business and non-business expenditure guidance note for more information.

Notice 701/31 ; VATA 1994, Sch 9, Group 7, Item 4, Note 8; VATHLT2000; De Voil Indirect Tax Service V4.281 (subscription sensitive)

This note should be read in conjunction with the Welfare services, Doctors, Dentists and Pharmacists guidance notes.

Hospitals and health institutions can exempt the following activities:

  • the provision of care or medical or surgical treatment
  • the supply of any goods connected with the provision of the above

In order to qualify for exemption for its supplies, the hospital or other institution must be approved, licensed, registered or exempted from registration by any Minister or other authority under a provision of a public general Act of Parliament, the Scottish Parliament or equivalent NI legislation with the exception of a provision that is capable of being brought into effect at different times in relation to different local authority areas.

Qualifying institutions

The exemption covers the following types of institutions:

  • hospitals
  • hospices and nursing homes which are approved, licensed or registered under the relevant social legislation (or exempted from the need for such approval or registration by relevant legislation)
  • any other state-regulated institution providing medical care


The exemption is applicable to activities undertaken by one of the above institutions on a commercial

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