Who is eligible for VAT relief?
VAT law states that you must be 'chronically sick or disabled' to qualify for VAT relief.
A person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they:
- have a physical or mental impairment that has a long-term and severe effect on their ability to carry out everyday activities
- have a condition that doctors treat as a chronic sickness (like diabetes, for example) or are terminally ill
A person with a temporary injury like a broken leg would not qualify, nor would a frail older person who was generally able-bodied.
A product or service must also be supplied for the 'personal and domestic use' of a chronically sick or disabled person to qualify for zero-rating. Things not covered by this include:
- products and services used for business purposes
- products made widely available for a group of people to use
- products and services supplied to people who are staying or living in a hospital or nursing home, as part of their medical or surgical treatment or with any form of care
Products that are eligible for VAT relief
Some examples of products that are zero-rated for VAT are:
- some medical and surgical appliances - like artificial limbs, for example
- electrically or mechanically adjustable beds
- gadgets and devices that are designed specifically to make everyday tasks easier for disabled people, like kettle tippers or stair lifts
- computer software or hardware designed specifically for disabled people
- vehicles that have been adapted for use by a disabled person
Services that are eligible for a VAT zero-rating include:
- the servicing, maintenance and installation of disability equipment
- adaptation work on equipment or appliances so a disabled person can use them
- some building alterations to a disabled person's home
- the hire of qualifying disability equipment