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No sales tax for preventive medical supervision


BFH: Actual medical treatment is not always necessary

An emergency medical emergency service can also be exempt from VAT if there is no medical treatment. This was decided by the Federal Finance Court (BFH) in Munich in a judgment published on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 on medical supervision at sporting events (file number: V R 37/17).

He was right with a doctor from the Rhineland. Among other things, he worked as a freelancer for an organizer of sports and similar events. He advised them in advance on possible health risks. He was present during these events and took tours to identify health problems as early as possible and to intervene if necessary. The doctor billed these services on an hourly basis. He did not invoice sales tax.

The tax office said that the doctor had to pay sales tax for this. The "mere presence and willingness to perform" at the events is not exempt from medical treatment.

The Cologne Financial Court had followed that, but the BFH now agreed with the doctor. The services for the organizer had "directly served to protect and maintain human health". In terms of purpose, they are comparable to medical prevention treatments. The doctor should have recognized medical problems as early as possible in order to be able to intervene quickly if necessary.

"This is an immediate medical activity that can only be performed by a doctor," said the BFH in its judgment of August 2, 2018, which has now been published in writing. It goes well beyond the mere "presence and willingness to perform".

The doctor also had on-call services in a hospital. This had a flat rate of 20 percent rest and therefore paid 20 percent less hourly wages. The Cologne Finance Court had already ruled that the tax office should not therefore subject 20 percent of the fees to sales tax because the rest periods were not paid in the end (judgment of July 3, 2017, file number: 9 K 1147/16). mwo / fle

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