VAT Tribunal – Medical healthcare
A recent VAT tribunal case examined the VAT liability of services designed to help individuals stop smoking. The Appellant in this case appealed against a decision by HMRC that the supplies were standard-rated for VAT and against the related misdeclaration penalties.
The Tribunal had to examine if the supplies were standard-rated or exempt from VAT. The Appellant’s business aims to encourage individuals to stop smoking. This is achieved by running a chain of smoking cessation clinics and related services including the provision of a telephone helpline and the sale of books and videos.
The case specifically looked at whether the services provided by the Appellant were directly supervised by a medical practitioner. The Appellant employs a highly qualified Doctor who takes overall responsibility for medical treatment. This includes inspecting the records of smokers receiving therapy, updating the training manual, answering medical queries and discussing medical issues with therapists.
The Tribunal allowed the appeal finding that the services provided by the Appellant constituted supervised medical healthcare and that those services included direct supervision by a Doctor who is enrolled on the register of medical practitioners.