Hello, I am Keith, one of the experts on Just Answer, and pleased to be able to help you with your question.
Before I can fully address the position please note the following extract from VAT Notice 701/57:
'professionals registered under the Health Professions Order 2001 - these professionals are, arts therapists, biomedical scientists, chiropodists/podiatrists, clinical scientists, dieticians, hearing aid dispensers, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, paramedics, physiotherapists, practitioner psychologists, prosthetists and orthotists, radiographers, and speech and language therapists, but will also include any medical care professionals added to the Order at a future date'
Please advise if you are one of the professionals so registered.
I see Ian, you have got the message, were you registered under the Order your activities would be exempt and you would not have to bother about VAT registration at all.
Unfortunately your accountant is correct. VAT is a turnover tax not a tax on profits. Thus if you sell over 83K of services in any one year, even if it is for some other person, you breach the turnover level, must register and charge VAT on your gross sales. The fact that from that turnover you are paying other suppliers is an irrelevance. There is a comprehensive summary of the position here:
The only way around this which I can see would be for the individual practitioners to bill clients direct. They would then pass you an element of the fee paid whuch would reduce your turnover, presumably to below the threshold.
I am so sorry to have to rain on your parade.
Have a look here regarding the appropriate treatment for VAT in respect of rented barbers' chairs:
You will see that the route I suggested to reduce your turnover to below the threshold is similar in approach and might work. Otherwise, as you surmise, you could be up the creek without a paddle.
Thank you for your support.