Hospitals and health institutions

Produced by Tolley

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

  • Hospitals and health institutions
  • Qualifying institutions
  • Care and treatment
  • Drugs and other items
  • Goods and services provided as part of an overall care / treatment package
  • Goods / services supplied at a qualifying institution
  • Other supplies that are exempt from VAT
  • Human blood, organs and tissue
  • Transporting sick or injured individuals
  • Hiring equipment
  • More...

Hospitals and health institutions

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marked the end of the Brexit transition / implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time, key transitional arrangements came to an end and significant changes began to take effect across the UK’s VAT and customs regime. This document contains guidance on subjects potentially impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see the Brexit — overview guidance note.

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.

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:

  1. the provision of care or medical or surgical treatment

  2. 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:

  1. hospitals

  2. 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)

  3. any other state-regulated institution providing medical care


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

The exemption also applies to

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