Physicians need VAT for Expert Opinions

Among physicians it is well known that their medical services are not subject to VAT – according §4 no. 14 UStG. Is this still the same, when you write expertises that insurers need to prepare their decision to or not grant any benefits to the patient? The Federal Tax Court answered this question on December 31, 2007 (re V B 98/06).


The plaintiff, a physician, drafted several expert opinions for the statutory old-age pension fund to determine the necessity and scope of treatments for a reduction in the patient’s working capacity. While the physician considered his expertises to be tax exempt, the tax office disagreed.

The BFH dismissed the case since the lower courts correctly decided. The VAT assessment is conform with §4 no. 14 UStG and the directive 77/388/EEC art. 13 chap. A sec. 1 lit. C. 1 FGO). Turnover from the profession of a physician for is tax exempt when it comes to diagnosing, treatment, and possible curing sicknesses or health problems. Anything that does not qualify as medical healthcare does not qualify for VAT exemption – even if knowledge of medicine or a physician is required. It also does not matter that professional meets all qualifications of a physician.

Writing expert opinions for old-age pension funds has nothing to do with healing therefore this profession does not qualify for tax exemption. The expertises of the plaintiff only described positive and negative capabilities in relation to the labor market and therefore aimed at giving arguments for the decision making of the pension funds.


What does this mean in relation to your income tax? Nothing. You are still practicing a free-profession. Things are different when it comes to value-added taxation: You have the right to belatedly invoice for the VAT. If this is a problem for you then just deduct the tax from your received income. This is something to discuss with your tax-consulting professional. Consider also side effects like input tax or small entrepreneur’s rule for VAT.

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Published on the old CMS: 2008/5/2
Read on the old CMS till November 2008: 2,642 reads




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