Country Specific: Ireland: Monthly VAT Alert

Tax Appeals Commission Decisions (32TACD2022 & 33TACD2022) on VAT Exemption for Professional Medical Care Services

Two recent decisions of the Tax Appeals Commission (TAC) (32TACD2022 and 33TACD2022) examined the VAT exemption for professional medical care services. In both cases, the TAC determined that the Revenue Commissioners had adopted an overly narrow interpretation of the exemption at issue in interpreting the phrase “recognized as such by the Ministry of Health and Children” (as used in Irish VAT legislation) means that professional medical care services must be provided by a member of a designated profession within the meaning of the Health and Social Services Professionals Act 2005 in order to benefit from the VAT exemption. Among the evidence accepted by the TAC was that the Service Executive (a statutory body under the Department of Health) referred patients to the medical services in question and paid the Appellant for On the other hand, the fact that doctors were able to refer patients to the medical service or the fact that certain doctors the insurers would cover the cost of the service were both considered as being insufficient evidence to conclude that the services were recognized by the Department of Health. Both TAC decisions referred to the approach to statutory interpretation of tax laws as recently endorsed by the Irish Supreme Court in Bookfinders Ltd v Revenue Commissioners [2020] CIES 60.

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