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HMRC internal manual

VAT Health

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Health Professions Order 2001: VAT treatment of professions which do not have registers kept under the Health Profession Order 2001

Two questions are commonly asked about item 1 (c):

  1. does a particular profession have a register kept under the Health Professions Order 2001?; and
  2. why is it not possible for a member of the profession in question to exempt his or her supply anyway?

The professions which are commonly the subject of such questions (and none of whom are on the register) are:

acupuncturists (The Acupuncture Association’s request for a register to be set up under the Professions Supplementary to Medicines Act 1960 was rejected in 1980); and

psychotherapists and psychoanalysts (These professions should not be confused with psychiatrists who, as registered medical practitioners who have specialised in psychiatry and whose names appear on the statutory register, or practitioner psychologists who are now required to register under the Health Professionals Order 2001, both of which are entitled to exempt their supplies).

If a member of a profession which does not have a register kept under the Health Professions Order 2001 asks why his or her services cannot be exempt, you should explain that the exemptions in the UK are restricted to the services of those on the statutory medical registers, and so we cannot allow exemption to apply to other professions. This system provides the only sensible criterion for administering the relief, and is considered consistent with both EU law and the ECJ decision of Solleveld (C-444/04).

Although professions which do not have a register kept under the Health Professions Order 2001 cannot exempt their supplies, they can make representations to the appropriate regulatory body for a register to be set up. This is a matter between them and that Department, and HMRC has no part in this negotiation.

With effect from 1 July 2009 practitioner psychologists became registered under the Health professionals Order -see notice 701/57 for further details.