Equipment for disabled people might be free of VAT
If you have a long-term illness or you’re disabled, you might not have to pay VAT on certain goods and services that you buy from us. Not all goods and services supplied to chronically sick or disabled people are eligible for VAT relief. In general, the items covered by the VAT relief are things that are of practical help to you because of your illness or disability. This guide explains how the VAT relief works, who qualifies for the VAT relief and what you have to do so we don’t charge you VAT.
Many battery retailers offer batteries for disabled customers VAT free. However, as much as we’d like to, this isn’t something that we are able to offer as HMRC advice states that companies are only able to supply batteries zero rated for VAT if that company both supplies and fits the batteries in that single transaction.
See the relevant guidance (example under paragraph 5.5) issued by HMRC here.
How the VAT relief works
If the goods or services you buy qualify for the VAT relief, we will give you a sales invoice showing VAT at 0 per cent. This means that you won’t be charged VAT. (It’s not a case of you having to pay the VAT and then claiming it back from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). You can claim VAT exemption as part of the normal checkout process.
Who can buy qualifying goods and services without paying VAT?
You will be able to buy goods and services that are eligible for VAT relief if:
- you are chronically sick or disabled and
- you are buying them for your own personal or domestic use.
What is meant by chronically sick or disabled?
For the purposes of the VAT relief, you are chronically sick or disabled if:
- you have a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect upon your ability to carry out everyday activities
- you have a condition that the medical profession treats as a chronic sickness, such as diabetes
- you have a terminal illness
You won’t qualify if you are only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as suffering from a broken leg or other temporary injury. Neither will you qualify if you are elderly but are otherwise able-bodied and don’t suffer from any chronic condition.
What is meant by personal or domestic use?
Personal or domestic use means that the goods or services are supplied for your own private use, rather than for business purposes.
Also they must be just for your own use – not for use by anyone else, or any other chronically sick or disabled people in general.
However, if you and your partner are both chronically sick or disabled and you buy goods or services for both of you to use, then you won’t have to pay VAT.
How to buy qualifying goods and services without paying VAT
You’ll have to give us a written declaration stating that you are chronically sick or disabled and are entitled to buy qualifying goods and services VAT free. This is part of the normal checkout process on the website. This declaration has to give enough information to show that you qualify. We will then keep it with our records. If you are unable to complete the written declaration yourself, the completion of your parent, guardian, doctor or another responsible person is acceptable.
If you provide a satisfactory declaration the seller will then be able to sell you the goods or services without charging you VAT.