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Lab work for dental guards to be subject to VAT?


May 31, 2018

The Finnish tax authorities have decided to make the lab work needed for dental guards taxable. The costs of lab work would be subject to 24% Value Added Tax (VAT). Such lab work has previously been VAT free. The change is based on the view that dental guards cannot be considered goods customarily related to care and the fact that the therapeutic effect of a dental guard is not attributable to treatment performed by a dentist.

From the perspective of students who need dental guards, in practice this means that invoices payable by the student for lab work may increase by the amount of VAT due. The decision by the tax authorities is currently being considered by the Supreme Administrative Court, whose decision may still introduce changes to the taxation treatment of lab work. Some labs have chosen not to charge VAT while the Court’s decision is still pending.

The FSHS considers the imposition of VAT unfortunate in that it means the cost of purchasing a dental guard could vary depending on the unit in question. The most recent University Students’ Health Survey found that about 10% of students had had a dental guard made (KOTT 2016).