VAT on e-cabinet as a source of controversy

The number of online services is steadily growing. It turns out, however, that this is a perfect method even in the case of some medical services. The tax authorities assume that medical consultations that are provided via the Internet are not services exempt from VAT, regardless of their scope and type. This is important because more and more medical institutions decide to go for them, which at the same time do not resign from the services provided in stationary offices.

Both the organization and the course of a visit made by a patient in a "virtual office:" are often similar to those of a regular office. Even if only for this reason, it would seem logical to treat them in a similar way for tax purposes. Here, the same VAT rate comes to the fore. However, what seems to be understandable to the patient is no longer so obvious in terms of tax law. The tax authorities are therefore consistent in their conviction that the medical consultations offered via the Internet do not constitute a VAT-exempt medical service and that neither their type nor their scope is relevant. Of course, there is an approach that is quite controversial.

In the questions they issue, the financial authorities directly admit that the regulations in force do not specify how the medical care service is to be provided, since its purpose counts above all. However, the same authorities do not depart from the general assumption that it is not possible to provide medical care services without direct contact with the patient, i.e. personal contact. As a result, we find confirmation in one place that the concept of medical services includes not only treatment, but also diagnosis and even prophylaxis.

In another, however, it is stated that a virtual consultation does not involve the initiation or conduct of a therapeutic process and that such advice, which is intended to clarify a patient's concerns, is therefore not a medical service. It may also be surprising that the justification by the Polish tax authorities of the argument that services provided by e-cabinets are not exempt from VAT is based on the same judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union, which are cited by those who put forward their arguments in order to obtain the opposite request.

Therefore, when we are dealing with problems related to the determination of the VAT rate applicable to services provided by e-cabinets, we should not be surprised not only by the request of the tax office itself, which points out that it is not possible to apply the exemption provided for by law, but also by the fact that we are not dealing with any consistent and clear justification for it. This is a particularly complicated situation for a taxpayer who, in view of the unclear premises of the Polish tax authorities, may also have problems with taking certain appeal measures.

The number of online services is steadily growing. It turns out, however, that this is a perfect method even in the case of some medical services. The tax authorities assume that medical consultations that are provided via the Internet are not services exempt from VAT, regardless of their scope and type. This is important because more and more medical institutions decide to go for them, which at the same time do not resign from the services provided in stationary offices.

Both the organization and the course of a visit made by a patient in a "virtual office:" are often similar to those of a regular office. Even if only for this reason, it would seem logical to treat them in a similar way for tax purposes. Here, the same VAT rate comes to the fore. However, what seems to be understandable to the patient is no longer so obvious in terms of tax law. The tax authorities are therefore consistent in their conviction that the medical consultations offered via the Internet do not constitute a VAT-exempt medical service and that neither their type nor their scope is relevant. Of course, there is an approach that is quite controversial.

In the questions they issue, the financial authorities directly admit that the regulations in force do not specify how the medical care service is to be provided, since its purpose counts above all. However, the same authorities do not depart from the general assumption that it is not possible to provide medical care services without direct contact with the patient, i.e. personal contact. As a result, we find confirmation in one place that the concept of medical services includes not only treatment, but also diagnosis and even prophylaxis.

In another, however, it is stated that a virtual consultation does not involve the initiation or conduct of a therapeutic process and that such advice, which is intended to clarify a patient's concerns, is therefore not a medical service. It may also be surprising that the justification by the Polish tax authorities of the argument that services provided by e-cabinets are not exempt from VAT is based on the same judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union, which are cited by those who put forward their arguments in order to obtain the opposite request.

Therefore, when we are dealing with problems related to the determination of the VAT rate applicable to services provided by e-cabinets, we should not be surprised not only by the request of the tax office itself, which points out that it is not possible to apply the exemption provided for by law, but also by the fact that we are not dealing with any consistent and clear justification for it. This is a particularly complicated situation for a taxpayer who, in view of the unclear premises of the Polish tax authorities, may also have problems with taking certain appeal measures.

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