Disability & Tax
When a person buys goods or some services in the EU including the UK then they would normally pay VAT tax, but disabled people have the right not to pay VAT on products designed for disabled people or if they have equipment adapted for use.
Certain services are also VAT free for the disabled and these include building services provided to adapt the disabled person’s home for a better standard of living, the hiring of wheelchairs is also included under services.
The rules regarding products and services for which VAT is not applicable is complex for not everything that is supplied to disabled people falls into the category of zero rate VAT.
Who is eligible for VAT relief?
The law states that the person must be chronically sick or disabled for eligibility for relief of VAT, a person is said to be disabled or chronically sick if they:
* Have a long term severe physical or mental impairment that affects their ability to carry out day to day tasks.
* Have a disease that Doctors define as a chronic sickness, for example diabetes.
* Have a terminal illness.
Services or products that come under the category are something that must be used for personal and domestic use by the disabled or chronically sick person, products that are eligible for relief include:
* Medical and surgical supplies such as artificial limbs.
* Mechanical or electronically adjustable beds.
* Devices and gadgets for the specific use of disabled people such as tin openers and kettle tippers.
* Stair lifts and chair lifts.
* Specifically designed computer software or hardware.
* Vehicles that are adapted specifically for the disabled.
Services that qualify for relief
* Maintenance, servicing and the installation of disability equipment.
* Adaptation of equipment and appliances for use of the disabled person.
* Building alterations to the disabled person’s home for easier access.
* Hire of qualifying disability equipment.
How VAT Relief works
Before you purchase any product check beforehand to make sure it comes under the VAT relief act, when you purchase something that qualifies you might have to sign a form declaring your disability and explain what your disability is.
Also a declaration will have to be signed that the product or service is for your personal use. You will then be allowed to purchase the product or service there and then with VAT taken off. If you think you qualify for VAT relief then contact your local Revenue and Customs Office for more information.
Filed under: Disability & Tax