Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Questions (118)

Michael McGrath


118. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the reason VAT is chargeable by counsellors and psychotherapists on their services; if there is flexibility to change the application of VAT; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37045/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The VAT rating of goods and services is subject to the requirements of EU VAT law, with which Irish VAT law must comply. Under domestic legislation, professional medical care services recognised as such by the Department of Health and Children are exempt from VAT. Professional medical care services recognised by the Department of Health and Children are generally those medical care services supplied by health professionals who are enrolled, registered, regulated, or designated on the appropriate statutory register provided for under the relevant legislation in force in the State or equivalent legislation applicable in other countries. This includes health professionals registered under the Medical Practitioners Act 2007, the Nurses Act 1985 and those engaged in a regulated profession designated under Section 4 of the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005.

Statutory Instrument No. 170 of 2018 (Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 (Regulations 2018) of 2 July 2018 designates psychotherapists and counsellors as a regulated profession and establishes the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Registration Board. Professional counselling and psychotherapy services provided by persons registered by this Board are exempt from VAT from the date of their registration.

As the Deputy will be aware my colleague, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, appointed the thirteen members of the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Registration Board with effect from 25 February 2019.

The Board has begun the substantial body of work which must be undertaken before it is in a position to open its registers. It is envisaged that this process will take a minimum of two years to complete. 

Questions on the establishment of the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Registration Board and their progress in opening their register are a matter for the Minister for Health.