If you are disabled or have a long-term illness, you will not have to pay VAT on products for your own personal or domestic use. If the product or aid was designed or adapted for a disability, the product will normally qualify for VAT exemption.
VAT is currently 20%, which means important mobility aids and equipment are far cheaper, and more accessible to users.
What is included?
Items that qualify include those that are adapted or designed for a disability or illness.
Examples include Adjustable beds, Wheelchairs, Riser Recliners, Mobility Scooters, Rollators, as well as other personal and domestic equipment that assist with your disability.
Other included items include home modifications (such as the installation of ramps, lifts, adapted toilets, or widening of doors) and adapted vehicles.
Do I qualify for VAT Relief?
If you suffer from a long-term illness or are disabled, you may be eligible. If you meet any of the following criteria, you can claim VAT relief:
- 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 illness, such as rheumatoid arthritis
- you are terminally ill
If you meet the above criteria, you will be able to purchase mobility aids and equipment with VAT relief. Unfortunately, you do not qualify for the VAT exemption is you are elderly but able-bodied, or if you are temporarily disabled.
Buying Products and Equipment VAT Free?
Specialist mobility stores will be able to help you understand if you qualify for VAT relief, and what products and services you can buy without paying VAT. In many cases, these stores display their ‘VAT Free’ prices online and in store, so if you do not qualify for the exemption, it is important to consider that the price will be 20% higher than displayed.
VAT Exemption Form
To receive zero-rated VAT, many stores will request that you complete a VAT exemption form, or confirm in writing that you meet the qualifying criteria.
If you require a VAT Exemption form, it can be downloaded here.
Repairs and Maintenance
As well as receiving VAT Relief on the initial purchase of mobility equipment, you will also not pay for any repair or maintenance required on your equipment. This includes purchasing spare parts and replacements, such as buying a new battery for a mobility scooter.
Help from Local Councils
In some cases, you can apply to your local council for equipment or help to adapt your home if you have a disability. You can check what your local council offers here.
Importing Goods and Equipment
You will not have to pay VAT if you import qualifying goods for personal or domestic use. If you use a freight service, they will be able to assist you with the paperwork. If using a non-freight service, ensure the following is written on your parcel: “Goods for disabled people: relief claimed“.
If you bring them in yourself, declare the products or equipment in the red channel at Customs.
For other methods of importing, you can contact the National Import Reliefs Unit on 030 0057 2100 (Monday to Friday 8am – 4pm).