VAT Exemption on Disability Products

VAT Exemption on Disability Products accessible Word document

Overview

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
  • ramps
  • 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

HM Revenue and Customs Disabled VAT Relief helpline
Tel: 0300 123 1073

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?

How will PIP affect my ability to use the Motability Scheme?

Am I eligible for a reduction on Vehicle tax?

How can I find out what benefits might I be eligible for?

What support is available to help keep warm this winter?

Am I eligible for VAT relief on disability equipment?

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