In Skin Rich Ltd v HMRC [2019] TC7310 the First Tier tribunal ruled that neither injectable Botox treatment nor nail fungus treatment came within the scope of VAT exempt medical care.

Medical care is exempt from VAT. For these purposes medical care means to diagnose, treat and (where possible) cure a person’s health. It must broadly be conducted by a person registered with the appropriate medical body, or by someone under their supervision.

Skin Rich Ltd claimed:

  • Botox is a medical procedure and they employ members of the medical profession to administer and supervise it in all instances; and
  • Nail fungus treatment is also a medical treatment; it is carried out to restore the health of the person concerned as GPs are now advising their patients to seek private treatment due to the NHS being over-stretched.

The tribunal accepted that both treatments could help a medical condition; Botox can reduce excessive sweating and nail fungus treatment can prevent blood poisoning, but in both cases, the tribunal considered that the treatments were being sought primarily for cosmetic reasons so did not qualify for the exemption.

In reaching their decision judge also took into account the fact that the treatments were not state-regulated.

Links to our guides:

Health and welfare: VAT

External link: 

Skin Rich Ltd v HMRC [2019] TC7310

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