VAT on Fertility Treatment: Is the Danish Interpretation Consistent with EU Law?

Anne Maria Jakobsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


VAT on fertility treatment has generated a big debate in Denmark. The reason for this shall be found in the fact that the Danish administrative practice differs depending on the sex of the pa- tient. As The Court of Justice of The European Union has not yet passed judgement relating to VAT on fertility treatment, the purpose of this thesis is to derive applicable law on the basis of Article 132 (1) (b) and (c) of The VAT Directive and EU case law. Furthermore the thesis will clarify whether Danish administrative practice is consistent with EU law.
The thesis concludes that according to the VAT Directive and EU case law two requirements shall be met, if fertility treatment can be exempted from VAT. It requires that the treatment is performed by people in the exercise of the medical professions and that the treatment has a ther- apeutic aim. A derivation from applicable law shows that fertility treatment is exempted from VAT when the woman is either infertile or subfertile or if she is suffering from psychological disorder caused by infertility or subfertility. Fertility treatment is also exempted from VAT if the woman’s male partner is infertile or subfertile, provided there is link between the man’s health disorder and the fertility treatment.
The thesis also concludes that the Danish administrative practice does not pose an EU consistent interpretation in all cases. Danish administrative practice seems in some cases to follow the de- duced applicable law, as fertility treatment performed on infertile women is exempted from VAT, regardless of the nature of a relationship. However, the treatment is not exempted if the woman is subfertile or suffering from a psychological disorder or a man, who is in a relationship with a woman, is infertile or subfertile. This means that the Danish administrative practice seems to interpret the directive more strictly than it was intended given that the general objective of Article 132 (1)(b) and (c) of the VAT Directive is to reduce the cost of healthcare. However it is expected that the Danish practice will change and become EU consistent, as a consequence of a reply from The European Commission to the Danish Ministry of Taxation on an inquiry concern- ing VAT on fertility treatment.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages87