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To be or not VAT exempt? Nutrition services rendered in gyms and other sports facilities

© Federica Campanaro
Can  nutrition services rendered in gyms and other sports facilities benefit from VAT exemption?

The Portuguese Tax Authorities released General Ruling “Ofício-Circulado no. 30247” in 13 May, 2022.

The Ruling  binds the tax administration on the VAT treatment of nutrition services rendered in gyms and other sports facilities.

Based on EUCJ’s decision in case C-581/19 (Frenetikexito – Unipessoal Lda v Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira) and Supreme Administrative Court decision no. 1/2022, the Portuguese Tax Authorities communicate that:

  • nutrition services supplied by an authorised and certified professional in gyms and other sports facilities are not covered by the VAT exemption provided to services in the exercise of the professions of doctor, dentist, midwife, nurse and other paramedical professions (article 9(1) of the Portuguese VAT Code, in line with article 132(1)(c) of the VAT Directive).

In our opinion this Ruling exceeds both EUCJ and Supreme Administrative Court decisions, which  leave margin to apply the VAT exemption when there is proof that services supplied have a therapeutic purpose.

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