What is VAT Exemption / Relief?
To attempt to simplify what appears to be a complicated system, we have put together this guide that we hope helps you understand who is and who isn’t eligible to claim VAT relief on disability aids available to buy on our website.
Put simply, VAT exemption allows chronically sick or disabled people to buy eligible items at 0% rather than 20% VAT – thus saving them a significant amount of money. It is normally far easier to claim this exemption when buying online. Online shops, like ourselves, are set up to allow you to answer simple questions, in the comfort of your own home. High Street retailers are generally not.
Who is eligible for VAT relief?
To be eligible for VAT relief the government says you have to fit the following criteria:
Charities – simply provide your charity number.
A person is ‘chronically sick or disabled’ if he/she is a person:
- With a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect upon his/her ability to carry out everyday activities; with a condition which the medical profession treats as a chronic sickness, such as diabetes; or
- Who is terminally ill.
Important Note: It does NOT include a frail elderly person who is otherwise able-bodied or any person who is only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb.
What proof do we need to provide?
Incontinence products are zero rated for personal use. Only if you are buying a larger quantity of incontinence products, we will ask you to complete a simple form.
In order to waive VAT on an eligible purchase, the government requires a simple declaration to be made as to the nature of your disability at the time of ordering. No proof of your disability need be shown to any party at any time.
Its very easy to claim VAT relief, all we need to know is the name, address & disability of the person the item is for & what their chronic sickness or disability is. We don’t need a doctor’s letter or any reference numbers.
The above information can be provided during the online checkout or if you order by phone or post we will send you a form & a freepost return envelope asking you for the above information. All this information is collected over our secure connection and we keep it completely confidential.
Which Items are eligible?
VAT Exemption only applies to certain items; these are items which have been designed to be used by someone who is chronically sick or disabled. Examples of such products are Bath Aids, Bath Lifts, Mobility Aids, Toileting Aids, Wheelchairs, Magnifying Glasses & many more daily living aids and care equipment. If an item is displayed as ‘Available VAT Exemption’ or the price is shown “with VAT Relief” on our site, and you are eligible (as above) then you are entitled to buy these products with VAT Relief.
0% Rated for VAT
Incontinence products are zero rated and you will only be asked to tick a quick declaration if you are buying larger quantities – this is to confirm they are for personal use or being sold to a charitable institution. However, this relief does not apply to any supplies made to or for the NHS or non-charitable nursing homes and hospitals or other similar institutions.
Things to Remember
- We do NOT decide if an item is or isn’t exempt and we don’t make any more or less money if we charge you VAT or we don’t charge you VAT.
- If you do not complete the VAT exemption form during Checkout, or you are not eligible for VAT relief, we are obliged to charge you the full prevailing VAT on the whole of your order.
- Not all products are eligible for VAT relief, so we are obliged to charge VAT at the prevailing rate for those products that are not VAT exempt, even after you complete this form.
- Click here to visit the Government page on VAT for disabled people section. That also has links to other financial help if you are disabled.