Stephanie Regan calls on Minister for Health, Simon Harris and Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe to cease charging VAT on Counselling and Psychotherapy nationwide. This is in essence a “TAX ON MENTAL HEALTH”.
Ms Regan who is a clinical psychotherapist herself and is President of EAPA Ireland states that there are a number of known taxation anomalies that result in higher charges being passed to the public as clinicians are being forced to charge VAT on their sessional work.
This is in essence a Tax on Mental Health and a financial barrier to accessibility and I am asking the Ministers to make the necessary changes in the consideration of taxation for these groupings.
Charging VAT on counselling and psychotherapy is totally inconsistent and irreconcilable with the Government’s stated policies of supporting and promoting access to Mental Health Services.
Historically, counsellors and psychotherapists have filled a critical void in our mental health services, by providing clinical care which was unavailable elsewhere. The public have been driven into private care and taxing these sessions is very wrong and needs to change.
The Present Position
The Government taxation rules provide that it is a requirement for Counsellors and Psychotherapists to charge 13.5% VAT to their clients on their therapy session fees. The Revenue Commissioners’ current justification for this practice is that they deem that counselling and psychotherapy do not qualify as a medical or paramedical health service, a category of practitioners who are not VAT liable.
EU Directives and specifically Article 13(A)(1) of the European Communities Sixth directive, sets out that EU members are required to exempt from VAT the provision of medical care in the exercise of the medical and paramedical professions. It is within the remit of the national governments to interpret and decide which professions fall within the ‘paramedical definition’.
I am suggesting to the Ministers that the Revenue Commissioners are incorrectly interpreting counselling and psychotherapy as a non-qualifying medical / paramedical service and I believe this requires immediate change.
Some discriminatory anomalies:
EAPA Ireland President