Tuesday, 21 September 2021
Department of Finance
15. To ask the Minister for Finance if he will consider introducing a VAT exemption for psychotherapists and counsellors in line with the equivalent offered to psychologists to ensure equity of treatment between mental health professionals. [44832/21]
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 are exempt from VAT. Professional medical care services recognised by the Department of Health 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 established 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 may be aware, the then 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. 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.