I am advised by Revenue that the VAT rating of goods and services is subject to the requirements of EU VAT law with which Irish VAT law must comply. Under our 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. Where such services are supplied by a person who is not so registered (including where the services are provided by a person in advance of their being so registered) then the supply of the service is liable to the reduced rate of VAT, currently 13.5%.
I understand that Psychologists were listed as designated professionals in the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005, although the register of psychologists envisaged by that legislation has not yet opened. I am advised by Revenue that, because the supply of services by psychologists were exempt from VAT for many years prior to the 2005 Health legislation, that pre-existing exemption has been maintained pending commencement of the Psychologists register.
I also understand that, in 2018, Counsellors and Psychotherapists were added by the Minister for Health to the list of designated professionals for the purposes of the 2005 Act. I am advised by Revenue that services provided by these professionals had not been granted VAT exemption prior to this. Therefore, in accordance with the law, Revenue applies the VAT exemption to the supply of medical services by these professionals as and from the date of their registration.