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VAT question for practitioner psychologist

online stress mgt courses, are these VAT exempt?


I have a question that I'd appreciate some input on.  Practioner Psychologist are VAT exempt, but my question is  ;- if psychologist is offering online stress management courses, are they still VAT exempt?

Does not fall under the digitial goods act as offer live support from a tutor.

From gov site "

4.3 Psychologists’ services

With effect from 1 July 2009 practitioner psychologists became regulated by the Health Professionals Council, meaning that any supplies of medical care they make became exempt from VAT from that date. Practitioner psychologists come under seven domains: clinical, counselling, educational, forensic, health, occupational, and sport/exercise. Psychologists who work purely in academic research and experimental psychology and who do not offer services to the general public are excluded from regulation, meaning that there is no change in the VAT treatment of their services.

‘Medical care’ means any service relating to the protection, maintenance or restoration of the mental health of the person concerned. Medical care includes services such as counselling, working with children with emotional problems, dealing with criminals’ behavioural problems or running stress management courses. It does not include supplies of time management services, which are not related to the mental health of the client."

My question that I am hoping for some help with is - do you think that online stress management courses fall under the above remit and as such, are considered VAT exempt?

Any help would be appreciated.


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22nd Nov 2017 09:02

If it's offering live support then I don't see how it differs from a face to face or telephone based consultation.

Someone doesn't need to be in the same room as the patient to be providing medical care to that patient e.g. blood test analysis etc.

So assuming every course is therefore tailored to the clients need by the live process then I see no reason it wouldn't come under the exemption.

Thanks (1)
to spidersong
22nd Nov 2017 11:49

Thanks for taking the time to respond. It’s a little different from face to face in that all the material is prepared, for example video instruction, worksheets etc, but the person taking the course can contact the instructor personally for extra help.

Thanks (0)
22nd Nov 2017 10:15

I agree. If the course is online counselling, then you are delivering medical care.
Or, does a 'stress management course' consist of something different from medical care?

Thanks (1)
to leshoward
22nd Nov 2017 11:48

Hello, thank you for responding. It’s not online counselling as such - e.g. where you meet with someone online. Rather it is a complete stress management course that is delivered by prepared videos and handouts, worksheets etc, but the “live component’ is that the person can contact the instructor personally should they need to, to ask questions etc.

It could well still fall under the remit that is delivering care, but since this is quite a new area, I thought I’d reach out for feedback.

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