VAT Exemption on Disability Products accessible Word document
Disabled people may be entitled to claim Value-Added Tax (VAT) relief on disability goods and services that are designed for use by disabled people. This info guide explains who can apply for VAT relief and what products and services are eligible.
In general, disabled people do not have to pay VAT on goods and services that are designed/ or adapted solely for use by disabled people. These goods and services are often called ‘zero-rated’ or ‘eligible for VAT relief’
For the supplies of goods and services to be zero-rated, all of the following conditions must be met:
- The customer is eligible to purchase supplies at the zero rate
- The goods are for the personal or domestic use of the customer
- The goods and services are eligible to be supplied at the zero rate
How to get VAT free products
To get the product VAT free your disability has to qualify. For VAT purposes, you’re disabled or have a long-term illness if:
- you have a physical or mental impairment that affects your ability to carry out everyday activities, for example blindness
- you have a condition that’s treated as chronic sickness, like diabetes
- you’re terminally ill
This definition does not include an elderly person who is otherwise able-bodied or any person who is only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb. Similarly, any services purchased which apply specifically to disabled people are eligible for VAT relief. These include the repair and maintenance of disability equipment, disabled home adaptations and disabled equipment hire.
What goods and services and eligible?
This is not a complete list of eligible equipment but the following may be included:
- wheelchairs; adjustable beds
- stair lifts
- computer hardware/software designed for disabled people
- kitchen/household aids.
It also includes the purchase of any vehicle that has been wheelchair (power or manual) adapted. The adaption of the vehicle must be substantial and permanent. The hire of an adapted vehicle from Motability is also included in the scheme.
How do I claim?
The vast majority of suppliers will know if their product has been specifically designed to help disabled people. They will offer their products free of VAT at the point of sale. You’ll need to confirm in writing that you meet these conditions. Your supplier may give you a form for this. Most suppliers will use the Notice 701/7 VAT reliefs for disabled people form
If you are shopping online, the supplier or manufacturer should have an online copy of the declaration form, which you can then fill in as you make your purchase.
Reduced rate VAT on mobility aids for older people
If you are aged over 60 years and have a qualifying mobility aid supplied and installed in their own home, or a home shared with friends or relations.
Your supplier should know about the reduced rate and apply it. You qualify if:
- you’re over 60 when the product is supplied or installed
- the product is installed – you don’t get the reduced rate if you just buy it
- the product is for a private home, e.g. your own home or one shared with friends or relatives (a residential care home doesn’t qualify)
You don’t have to order and pay for the aid and installation yourself, it can be ordered and paid for by someone else, or a charity, local authority, housing association or any other organisation.
You can get reduced rate of VAT on the supply and installation of these items:
- grab rails
- stair lifts
- bath lifts
- built-in shower seats or showers containing built-in shower seats
- walk in baths with sealed doors
Repairs of these goods once they have been installed are not eligible for VAT relief and can only be reduced rated VAT if they are supplied and installed by the same company.
For more information see the mygov.scot website.
Further information and useful contacts
Please note- when you call this number it will take you through to the HMRC Charities helpline. Listen to the options and press 5 for queries relating to VAT relief for individual disabled people.
Information last updated on 10 September 2020. Please note that information may be subject to change. All information is provided in good faith but Disability Information Scotland does not endorse any product or service referred to within this resource.
If you would like this information guide in another version then please contact us and we will post or email you a copy.
Money, Benefits & Grants:Frequently Asked Questions
Through our helpline we receive enquiries spanning a wide range of different topics. Here is a selection of those most asked:
How can I appeal a PIP decision?
It is always a good idea to seek advice when challenging decisions. An advice agency will be able to tell you if you have a good case; how to obtain medical or other evidence; and may be able to represent you at an appeal hearing. In some cases there is a risk of losing a benefit if you challenge a decision. You can also search the Scottish Disability Directory to find your local welfare rights service.
You can challenge a decision if you think it is wrong according to the rules. The decision about your PIP is set out in a letter that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) send you. This is called the decision letter. The date on the letter is the decision date.
A Mandatory Reconsideration is the first step when challenging a PIP decision. It is asking the DWP to look at the decision again. You must normally ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration within one month of the decision date.
Appeal to Tribunal is the second step of challenging a PIP decision. You can normally only do this after you have got a Mandatory Reconsideration Notice.
For more information see our Benefit Appeals & Reconsideration Guide.
How will PIP affect my ability to use the Motability Scheme?
The Motability Scheme enables disabled people to lease a car, powered wheelchair or scooter. Eligibility to use the Motability Scheme is based on receiving one of the following benefits.
- Higher Rate Mobility Component of DLA
- Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP
- War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
Awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP
For existing Scheme customers, their eligibility to remain on the Motability Scheme will depend on the outcome of their assessment for PIP. If you are awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP you should not experience any disruption to your lease as you move from one benefit to the other.
NOT awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP
If you are not awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP you will not be eligible to use the Motability Scheme. Being forced to leave the Scheme will be a difficult transition for you and your family.
The Motability Scheme has put in place a one-off package of transitional support to those customers who can no longer use the Scheme as a result of their initial DLA to PIP reassessment. This transitional package will include guidance on your mobility options and next steps, financial support if eligible, advice on buying a second hand car, information on insurance, maintenance and other mobility solutions, as well as the purchase price of your vehicle. You will be able to keep the car for eight weeks after the DLA payments stop.
In addition, if you first joined the Scheme before the end of 2013 you will have the option to keep the car for 26 weeks after the last DLA payment. If you choose to keep the car for this extended period your transitional support payment will be reduced.
For further details of the transitional support process please visit the Motability website. Their website has a useful section with more detailed information on the transitional support package. You can also phone the Motability Scheme helpline on 0300 456 4566.
Am I eligible for a reduction on Vehicle tax?
You might be eligible for a reduction or exemption on vehicle tax if you are disabled and meet the eligibility criteria. The vehicle must be registered in the disabled person’s name or nominated driver’s name and must only be used for the disabled person’s personal needs.
You can apply for exemption from paying vehicle tax if you get the:
- higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Enhanced rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
You can get a 50% reduction in vehicle tax if you get the PIP standard rate mobility component.
For more information contact our helpline on 0300 323 9962.
How can I find out what benefits might I be eligible for?
A good first step to see whether you are eligible to apply for certain benefits is to have a ‘benefits check’. A benefits check is a calculation that will include an estimate of what and how much you might get. You can get a check at your local welfare rights project, local Council Money Advice or Citizens Advice Bureau. Some housing associations and GP surgeries might also offer them.
You can also use the Turn2us benefit calculator online.
Before doing a benefits check, you will need information about any savings, income, pension, childcare payments or existing benefits (for both yourself and your partner).
To find your local welfare rights service search our Scottish Disability Directory. or contact our helpline on 0300 323 9961.
What support is available to help keep warm this winter?
At this time of year fuel costs increase and it can be difficult to keep yourself warm and cosy!
The good news is there are different grants and schemes available throughout the country to help people improve the heating in their homes and keep heating costs down. Check out our Help to heat your home guide for more information on what you might be eligible for.
Home Energy Scotland is a free impartial energy advice service to help people save money and keep their homes warmer. They offer simple energy saving tips, make referrals to funding schemes and can arrange benefits and tax credit checks to help people access available assistance.
If you would like more information about how you can help heat your home then please call Home Energy Scotland’s free helpline on 0808 808 2282 to check what support you might be entitled to. You can also text ‘warm’ to 81025 for a call back or email email@example.com.
From layering up with fleeces and blankets, to keeping refueled with hot drinks, there are ways that you can help keeps yourself cosier and keeps fuel costs down. For some extra tips check out our Get Winter Ready blog and/or the Home Energy Scotland ‘Keeping your home warm this winter’ blog.
Am I eligible for VAT relief on disability equipment?
In general, disabled people do not have to pay VAT on goods and services that are designed/ or adapted solely for use by disabled people. These goods and services are often called ‘zero-rated’ or ‘eligible for VAT relief’.
The majority of suppliers will know if their product has been specifically designed to help disabled people. They will offer their products free of VAT at the point of sale.
You’ll need to confirm in writing that you meet these conditions. Your supplier may give you a form for this.
Most suppliers will use the Notice 701/7 VAT relief for disabled people form.
For further information see our VAT Exemption for Disabled Goods Information Guide or call our helpline on 0300 323 9961.
Money, Benefits & Grants:Search for Local Organisations
Our quick search tool can connect you to over 3000 service providers, suppliers and organisations supporting people across Scotland. To find support near you, simply enter your search term and select your local authority.