A product or service must be supplied for the 'personal or domestic use' of a chronically sick or disabled person to qualify for zero-rating.
Some examples of products that are zero-rated for VAT are:
Things not covered by this include:
Services that are eligible for VAT relief
Services that are eligible for zero-rating include:
If you are a wheelchair or stretcher user, you do not have to pay VAT when you buy a motor vehicle that has been substantially and permanently adapted for your personal use. A wheelchair user is defined as anyone who has to use a wheelchair - powered or manual - in order to be mobile.
Any adaptation work that is done on an unadapted vehicle to make it suitable for a disabled person's condition, whether or not that person is a wheelchair user, is also eligible for zero-rating. However, there is no VAT relief on the purchase of an unadapted vehicle.
Adaptations to your home
The work involved in some adaptations to disabled people's homes is eligible for VAT relief.
The rules about adaptations to buildings and VAT are complex. You should always ask whether the adaptation work to your home will be eligible for VAT relief when you are hiring a builder or other tradesperson.
Hiring disability equipment
You do not have to pay VAT when you hire qualifying disability equipment. This applies to large equipment, like powered wheelchairs and hoists, and specialised equipment for people with specific disabilities.
How VAT reliefs work
Before you pay for any product or service, check that it qualifies for zero-rating and that the supplier is registered for VAT.
When you buy a zero-rated product or service, you may have to sign a form declaring that you have a chronic illness or disability and what it is. You must also declare that the product or service is for your own 'personal or domestic use'. The supplier should have copies of this form.
You can then buy the product or service at a price that excludes VAT. You do not have to pay VAT and then reclaim it from the government - it will be taken off the purchase price before you pay.
You can find out more about VAT reliefs for disabled people on the HM Revenue & Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there, you can call their Charities Helpline, which covers VAT reliefs for disabled people.
Telephone: 0845 302 02 03
The helpline is open 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. It is closed at weekends and bank holidays.