In March, the EU Court of Justice ruled that VAT exemption applies to health services provided by phone (case C 48/19).
X is a private limited company incorporated under German law. In February 2014, the company provided advice over the phone on behalf of its health insurance fund regarding health issues, and implemented support programmes over the phone for patients with chronic or permanent illnesses. The EU Court of Justice decided that services provided by phone and that include consultations on health and illnesses could be exempt on condition that they have a therapeutic purpose. Member states are allowed to broadly interpret “therapeutic purposes”, including any services that protect, maintain or restore human health.
Also, member states may determine the professions where operations of providing health services would be entitled to VAT exemption, especially for the purpose of setting qualifications to work in those professions. Where VAT is applied to exempt services, the deducted input tax must be repaid.