Until recently, most (para)medical professions enjoyed a VAT exemption. As of January 1, 2022, an amendment to the law changes this and only medical acts with a therapeutic purpose are exempt, as a result of which many professionals are subject to VAT and must comply with the associated VAT formalities. The VAT authorities have recently published a circular in which more clarity is provided as to what exactly should be considered as a therapeutic act, as well as some tolerances for complying with the VAT formalities. Which tolerances these are exactly is to be read below.
Which (para)medical acts continue to enjoy the VAT exemption?
As of January 1, 2022, only medical services that aim to diagnose, care for and, to the extent possible, cure diseases or health problems are exempt. The exemption also applies to medical services performed for prevention purposes. Acts that do not have a therapeutic purpose are henceforth subject to the VAT rate of 21%.
More about the difference between therapeutic and non-therapeutic acts, the impact of this on e.g. the right to deduction...? Then be sure to check out our presentation prepared by our pro expert Jeroen De Witte, where he explains more about this change in the law.
Find the slides here: Modification of VAT exemption (para)medical care from 2022
What VAT formalities do I need to comply with?
VAT registration and declaration
Medical practitioners or paramedics who carry out taxable activities as of January 1, 2022, had to register for VAT with the VAT authorities by January 1, 2022 at the latest. Given the tight timing with which the VAT authorities published their circular, they anticipate, by way of tolerance, that the declaration of the start of a VAT activity can still be submitted at the latest until 31/01/2022.
As a VAT payer you are also required to submit monthly or quarterly VAT returns (depending on the annual turnover). If, as a professional, you have been subject to VAT since 1 January, you will therefore have to record these transactions in your first monthly or quarterly return. Here too, the VAT administration provides a tolerance as many accounting packages are not yet equipped for this.
What tolerances apply?
If you are a monthly taxpayer, you will only have to include the services performed during the months of January, February and March 2022 in the declaration of the month of April 2022 together with the transactions of April 2022. This VAT return must then be filed by 20/05/2022. In the months of January-March, you then only need to submit a nil VAT return (each time no later than the 20thof the following month). If you are able to meet these administrative obligations earlier, it is no longer possible to use the tolerance. For example, if you can register your services correctly as of February, it is not possible to declare operations in the month of February and include the operations of the following month of March in the monthly declaration for April.
If you are a quarterly supplier, you may declare your transactions for the first quarter together with the transactions for the second quarter in the VAT return for the second quarter. This must be submitted by 20/07/2022 at the latest. In the first quarter, a zero tax return must also be filed (by 20/04/2022).
These tolerances do presuppose that you do not carry out any VAT transactions other than those related to medical care. After all, the other transactions still have to be declared on time.
If you have any questions about your possible VAT registration, the VAT return, other formalities or any other consequences that this VAT obligation entails, please contact us here.