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Judgment was recently handed down in an important decision concerning the correct treatment of VAT for medical records and medical reports.
In Barratt Goff & Tomlinson v HMRC (see judgment) it was held where medical reports or medical records were obtained by solicitors, for the purpose of personal injury claims, the solicitors did not need to charge VAT on the fee as they were to be treated as being disbursements, as opposed to being part of the legal services being provided.
Although the impact of this decision is less than it might have been as most medical reports already have VAT added by the medical expert, for the small number of cases where the medical expert is not VAT registered or for the large number of cases where the medical records are obtained direct from the holder of the records, VAT does not need to be added by the solicitor. A decision in the other direction would have added significant costs for defendants.
Law Society Gazette article: here.
(A different conclusion had been reached on this issue in Makuwatsine v Trathens Travel Services Limited.)