• Homeopaths and acupuncturists subject to VAT?

Homeopaths and acupuncturists subject to VAT?

Erwin Boumans, Partner |

07 June 2016

Medical professions are often exempt from VAT. This means that for doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, … of which personal care services are included in the nomenclature of medical provision for compulsory sickness and disability insurance, no VAT must be charged for their services. But does this also apply to homeopaths and acupuncturists?

Not separately recognised and regulated (para) medical professions

The exemption for these professions, with the exception of certain aesthetic procedures and treatments, is not new.

Homeopathy and acupuncture are not regulated medical or paramedical professions and can be exercised by people with very different education or training. Only under certain circumstances, these occupations are legally recognised in Belgium.

A recent VAT decision (ET 129.853 dd. 3.05.2016) therefore wants to provide more clarity about the circumstances in which homeopaths and acupuncturists may apply the VAT exemption for medical services. 

Limited scope of the VAT exemption

The Belgian VAT authorities therefore clarify that homeopathy and acupuncture services are only exempt when provided by a physician, dentist, physiotherapist, midwife, nurse or care expert.

Because the decision merely confirms the existing administrative point of view, this is also applicable to the past.

The financial intervention of certain mutual insurance companies in the reimbursement of services provided by homeopathy and acupuncture, for that matter, is not considered as a criterion for applying the VAT exemption. 

Other practitioners of homeopathy and acupuncture

Homeopaths and acupuncturists who do not meet the above conditions are considered as normal taxable persons who are not entitled to the VAT exemption. Consequently, they must charge VAT on their services, but of course are also entitled to deduct VAT on incoming transactions.



Should you have any further question or require a personal advice with respect to the impact of these rules on your company, please contact your usual contact person at BDO or you may send an email to [email protected] for the attention of one of the members of the Competence Centre VAT:

  • Erwin Boumans, 02/778.01.00
  • Brigitte Braeckmans, 03/230.58.40
  • Pascal Dauw, 09/210.54.10
  • Kaatje Bondewel, 02/778.01.00