Supreme Administrative Court rules that nutrition services provided by gyms are not exempt from VAT
The Supreme Administrative Court has issued Judgement no. 1/2022 under which the case law regarding the application of the VAT exemption to nutrition services provided by gyms has been standardised.
Under the terms of this decision, the Supreme Administrative Court, based on EU case-law, deemed as a decisive criterion for the application of the VAT exemption that nutrition services have a therapeutic purpose, meaning that these services must be intended to assist people, make diagnoses and treat illnesses or any health anomaly, thereby requiring that they are actually provided (and not merely made available).
Accordingly, in the present case, considering that the nutrition services included in the gym membership package were invoiced regardless of whether the customer requested or needed them, they could not be VAT exempt and VAT should be assessed at the standard rate.
Conversely, the Court considered that “loose” nutrition consultations, which are charged directly to the customer, meet the requirements for the application of the VAT exemption.
Following these grounds, the Supreme Administrative Court ruled that the nutrition services provided by gyms through a certified professional, as a complementary way of providing their customers with a better physical performance and maximising the benefits pursued with the sports activity, are not exempt from VAT under the terms of Article 9 (1) of the VAT Code for failure to comply with the requirement relating to the therapeutic purpose.
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[Photo by: Vitalii Pavlyshynets, available at unsplash.com]